Greek jobless rate rises to 16.8% in fourth quarter

ATHENS, March 12 (Reuters) – Greece’s jobless rate rose to 16.8% percent in last year’s final quarter from 16.4% in the third quarter, data by the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

About 72.1% percent of Greece’s 786,400 jobless are long-term unemployed, meaning they have been out of work for at least 12 months, the figures showed.

Greece’s highest unemployment rate was recorded in the first quarter of 2014, when joblessness hit 27.8%.

The data showed that women and young people in the 15-19 age group were most affected among the unemployed. The jobless rate for women was 20.5% versus 13.8% for men in the fourth quarter, while for people aged 15-19 it stood at 42.5%.

Athens has already published monthly unemployment figures through December, which differ from quarterly data because they are based on different samples and are seasonally adjusted. Quarterly figures are not seasonally adjusted.

December unemployment fell to 16.3%, the lowest since March 2011. Greece’s economy performed worse than expected in the last quarter of 2019, contracting compared to the previous three-month period as its annual expansion rate slowed. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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