January 12, 2017 / 10:13 AM / 8 months ago

Greek unemployment eases to 23 pct in October, eurozone's highest

ATHENS, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate slightly dropped to 23 percent in October from 23.1 percent in the previous month, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday.

The number of officially unemployed reached 1.1 million people. Hardest hit were young people aged 15 to 24 years, with their jobless rate dropping to 44.2 percent from 48.8 percent in the same month a year earlier.

The reading in October, based on seasonally adjusted data, was the lowest since March 2012 when unemployment stood at similar levels. The jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 percent in September 2013.

Greece’s jobless rate has come down from record highs but remains more than double the euro zone’s average of 9.8 percent in November.

The economy expanded by 0.8 percent in July-to-September compared to the second quarter, with Athens projecting a stronger recovery next year after a protracted recession.

The government expects unemployment to drop to 22.6 percent this year, based on its 2017 budget which sees the economy expanding by 2.7 percent. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

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