Greece’s unemployment rate continues to shoot up as the official figure for March announced on Thursday by Greece’s statistics agency, ELSTAT, amounts to 21.9 percent, rising by 37.8 per cent in March compared with the same month in 2011 and higher than February’s 21.4 percent.
The official number of people employed is 3,843,905, while the unemployed amounted to 1,075,081 with young young people mostly affected, as the unemployment rate for those aged between 15 and 24 years now exceeds one in two (52.8 percent), while one in three aged between 15 and 44 are also without work, according to Kathimerni.
The official figure of women without work was 25.8% in March, compared with 19.2% in 2011. The region with the highest unemployment level was Macedonia, at 24.3%.
Greece has been entered its fifth year of recession, and has been relying on billions of euros in international rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010. In return, austerity measure and major tax hikes have been imposed, deepening the country’s recession.
Unemployment in Greece is almost twice the average jobless rate in the 17 countries sharing the euro, according to Reuters.
Fears that Greece might default on its debts or even leave Europe’s currency union have deepened since May 6. No party won an outright majority on May 6 and coalition talks collapsed after 10 days, forcing the country into new elections on June 17.