Greek unemployment in uncharted territory

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This post is a guest contribution by Rebecca Wilder, author of the News N Economics blog.

And you wonder why the Greek citizens are pushing back against austerity. Today the National Statistical Service of Greece released its quarterly labour force figures. From today’s release (pdf):

In the 1st Quarter of 2011 the number of employed amounted to 4,194,429 persons while the number of unemployed amounted to 792,601. The unemployment rate was 15.9% compared with 14.2% in the previous quarter, and 11.7% in the corresponding quarter of 2010

I’ll first note that the period (.) at the end of 2010 was not in the release, i.e. even the presentation of the data lacks formality. However, the report doesn’t need grammatical bells and whistles for one to see that the economy is disintegrating. According to the labour market, debt deflation, ‘infernal devaluation’ (as Marshall Auerback puts it) is taking its toll on the real economy.

The unemployment rate is (WAY) higher now than it was even before Greece joined the Euro area (2001).

The release also reports the female unemployment rate, which stood at 19.5% in Q1 2011 and up from 15.5% in Q1 2010. Furthermore, the aged 15-29 unemployment rate stood at 30.9% (35.8% for females) in Q1 2011, up from 22.3% in Q1 2010. Key parts of the labour force are being hit harder than others, i.e. young and female versus males aged 30-44.

You wonder who’s rioting? I bet its those younger citizens, 30% of the labour force, that are not working but WANT TO. This is a problem that’s not going to disappear with more austerity.

Source: Rebecca Wilder, News N Economics, June 17, 2010.

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