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Greece unemployment hits record high

New data shows that over 27 percent of Greeks are jobless, a rate that has tripled since debt crisis struck in 2009.

Last Modified: 12 Apr 2013 06:48
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The jobless rate in Greece has almost tripled since 2009 [AFP]

Greece's unemployment rate reached a new record of 27.2 percent in January, new data has showed, reflecting the depth of the country's recession after years of austerity imposed under its international bailout.

The latest figure rose from a revised 25.7 percent in December, the country's statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday.

The jobless rate has almost tripled since the country's debt crisis emerged in 2009, and was more than twice the eurozone's average unemployment reading of 12 percent.

"The first quarter will remain tough amid the deep recession, despite an improvement in the previous two months due to seasonal hirings," said Nikos Magginas, an economist at commercial Greek lender National Bank.

Unemployment among youth aged between 15 and 24 stood at 59.3 percent in January, up from 51 percent in the same month in 2012.

Greece's economy is in its sixth year of recession, battered by tax hikes and spending cuts demanded by its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders.

The economy is expected to shrink 4.5 percent this year.

The high jobless rate is keeping Greeks pessimistic about their economic prospects.

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