One in four Greeks are unemployed, while more than half of Greek youths are jobless.
After five straight years of economic contraction, or “negative growth” in econo-speak, nearly one in four Greeks is unemployed, according to new data. The jobless numbers from February show that 24 per cent of Greeks are jobless, or 1.1 million people, the highest the unemployment rate has been in memory. That 1.1 million is 46 per cent higher than the number of people unemployed just one year ago. Perhaps even more shocking is that 54 per cent of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed, meaning youths are more likely to not have a job than to have one. These numbers help explain Sunday’s Greek election results, in which parties that had promised to battle austerity measures, whether it was the Left Coalition or far-right, almost-Nazi Golden Dawn party, fared better than in any election previous. The two principal mainstream parties, the conservative New Democracy party and left-leaning PASOK party, were hammered at the polls, with neither party garnering more than 20 per cent of the vote. Economists are hoping that the summer tourist season will see the jobless numbers edge downward a bit, but over the long-term, such high levels of unemployment appear to be the new normal.