May 9, 2019 / 9:10 AM / 14 days ago

Greek February unemployment eases to 18.5 pct, lowest since July 2011

ATHENS, May 9 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate eased to 18.5 percent in February from an upwardly revised 18.6 percent in the previous month, data from the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

February’s unemployment rate was the lowest reading since July 2011.

Seasonally adjusted data showed the number of unemployed at 871,556 people, with younger persons aged up to 24 bearing the brunt of being out of work.

Among younger persons aged 15 to 24, the jobless rate fell to 38.8 percent from 46 percent in the same month in 2018.

Greece’s jobless rate, which hit a record high of 27.8 percent in September 2013, has been falling since but remains the highest in the euro zone.

The government expects unemployment to decline to 18.2 percent this year as the economy recovers, based on projections in its 2019 budget.

Greece’s economy shrank slightly in October-to-December after expanding for nine consecutive quarters. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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