ATHENS May 11 Greece's jobless rate dropped
slightly to 23.2 percent in February from 23.3 percent the
previous month, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday.
January's reading was downwardly revised from 23.5 percent.
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 47.9 percent from 50.6 percent in
February last year.
The jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 percent in
Greece's jobless rate has come down from record highs but
remains more than double the euro zone's average. Unemployment
in the 19 countries sharing the euro stood at 9.5 percent in
The country's economy contracted in the final quarter of
2016, performing worse than projected. Economic output slumped
1.2 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The government expects the jobless rate to drop to 22.6
percent this year, based on its 2017 budget, which sees the
economy expanding by 2.7 percent.
The European Commission on Thursday cut its growth forecast
for Greece, to 2.1 percent from 2.7 percent this year.
(Reporting by Athens bureau)