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Greek unemployment drops to 16.3% in March, youth hardest hit

Greece’s jobless rate eased to 16.3% in March from an upwardly revised 16.6% in the previous month, data from the statistics service ELSTAT showed on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted data showed 714,779 people were officially unemployed, with those aged under 24 the hardest hit.

Among those aged 15 to 24, the jobless rate rose to 37.5% from 34% in the same month in 2020. Greece’s jobless rate, which hit a record high of 27.8% in September 2013, has been falling but remains the highest in the euro zone.

Joblessness affected women more than men, with the respective rates in March at 21.2% and 12.3%, the data showed.

Greece’s economy shrank 8.2% last year, less than expected, despite tough restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The economy showed resilience in this year’s first quarter, expanding at a faster pace compared to the last quarter of 2020, helped by investments.

On an annual basis it shrank at a 2.3% clip in the first quarter, at a slower pace from a downwardly revised 6.9% decline in the previous quarter.

The European Commission raised its latest forecast for Greece’s economic growth this year to 4.1% from 3.5%. It projects unemployment at 16.3% in 2021, easing to 16.1% in 2022.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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