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Greek unemployment drops slightly in February, still euro zone's highest
May 11, 2017 / 9:17 AM / 6 months ago

Greek unemployment drops slightly in February, still euro zone's highest

ATHENS, May 11 (Reuters) - 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 September 2013.

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 March.

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)

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