There was another anti-austerity protest in Athens on Thursday over job cuts demanded by Greece’s international lenders, even as we learned there was a tiny dip in the country’s unemployment rate in December.
However the total is still close to record highs and the slight fall was credited to government employment programmes targeting young people and a seasonal jobs boost over Christmas.
The euronews Business correspondent there, Symela Touchtidou, reported: “As the unions marched through central Athens, the Greek statistics agency published seasonably adjusted numbers for last December showing a 0.1 percent fall in the jobless total, but analysts said it was too early to celebrate, as such reductions had been recorded twice last year.”
The total slipped from 27.6 percent to 27.5 percent of the workforce. In just under four years of bailout-linked austerity it has risen from 11.3percent.
Greek unemployment hit a record 27.7 percent last October. It remains more than double the euro zone average, which itself reached a record 12 percent in December.
Economists say it will be years before it falls significantly.