Greek jobless rate hits record 23%

Greece says its jobless rate hit 23 per cent in May, an all-time high for the debt-ridden country.

The newest figure — up from just under 17 per cent a year ago — reflected the worsening economic conditions in Greece. The government is struggling to meet the demands of its international creditors to impose new austerity measures in exchange for the release of bailout funds to keep the country from defaulting on its debts.

The government said Thursday young workers were especially hard hit by the weak Greek economy, now in its fifth year of decline. Nearly 55 per cent of young people are unemployed.

One unemployed shipyard engineer, Vassilis Tsimbidis, said jobless workers have had to search for whatever work they can find.

“Educated people who worked as engineers in good jobs ended up working in pizzerias as delivery boys, or in farming jobs because of the difficult circumstances. We have not been officially fired, and the crisis is at its peak in Greece.”

Greece’s unemployment rate is more than twice the average in the 17-nation euro currency union. But Spain’s is still higher, at nearly 25 per cent.


(Photo: Sergio Roberto Bichara/