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Greece unemployment rate hits new high in July

 
 
 
 
 
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Official data shows Greece’s unemployment rate rose to a new record high in July as the country continues to grapple with a recession-hit economy following the implementation of tough austerity measures.

The Greek Statistical Authority said on Thursday that the jobless rate rose to 27.9 percent in July from 27.6 percent in June, marking a sharp rise compared to last year when the jobless rate stood below 25 percent.

The country axed 20,000 jobs in June alone, said the Athens-based national statistics office.

The unemployment rate for people under the age of 25 reached 58.8 percent, and for women hit 31.9 percent.

The country’s leading union, GSEE, warned that unemployment is expected to surpass 29 percent by the year’s end, and is likely to hit 31.5 percent in 2014.

Greece has the highest unemployment in the European Union (EU) amid deteriorating economic situation and public discontent across the 28-nation bloc.

Greece has been dependent on bailout funds from international rescue loans approved by the troika of international creditors – the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – since May 2010.

The Greek economy is in its sixth year of recession due to fiscal mismanagement, resulting in tax rises and spending cuts.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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