June 18, 2020 / 9:17 AM / 24 days ago

Greek jobless rate drops to 16.2% in first quarter

ATHENS, June 18 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate fell to 16.2% in the first quarter from 16.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019, data by the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

About 70.5% of Greece’s 745,093 jobless are long-term unemployed, meaning they have been out of work for at least 12 months, the figures showed.

Greece’s highest unemployment rate was recorded in the first quarter of 2014, when joblessness hit 27.8%.

The data showed that women and young people in the 15-19 age group were most affected among the jobless. The jobless rate for women was 19.3% versus 13.7% for men in the first quarter, while for people aged 15-19 it stood at 34.2%.

Athens has already published monthly unemployment figures through March, which differ from quarterly data because they are based on different samples and are seasonally adjusted.

Quarterly figures are not seasonally adjusted.

March unemployment fell to 14.4%, the lowest since November 2010. Greece’s economy contracted in the first quarter as a lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus curbed economic activity.

Gross domestic product shrank 1.6% quarter-on-quarter. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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