Greece’s unemployment rate reached a record high of 28% in November 2013, according to newly released government figures.
The jobless rate increased from 27.7% in the previous month. For those under the age of 25, unemployment hit 61.4%.
Harsh austerity measures have led the Greek economy to shrink by a quarter in four years.
However, other economic indicators have suggested that there are signs of recovery.
Before Greece received its first 110 billion-euro ($150 billion) bailout in May 2010, the jobless rate was under 12% here.
Slight growth is expected this year and the deficit now wiped out, apart from interest payments on the bailout.
Greece’s unemployment rate reached a record high of 28 percent in November 2013
Greek unemployment is more than twice the average rate in the eurozone.
According to official EU figures, the number of people out of work in the single currency bloc in December was 19 million, with the jobless rate at 12%.
Other economic figures such as retail sales, manufacturing activity and construction, have pointed to signs that Greece’s recession has bottomed out.
However, Greece’s unemployment rate is expected to rise further in the first three months of 2014 as firms continue to restructure and cut jobs.
With 1.38 million people officially jobless, turning around the country’s economy will take time, even if the recovery does start this year as Athens hopes.
Before the crash when Greece was growing at up to 5% annually, about 50,000 jobs a year were added to the economy.
At these rates it could take more than 20 years to reduce the jobless totals – without measures to encourage domestic and foreign investment.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has cut global growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014 after weak prospects in emerging markets.
Global GDP for 2013 is now expected to grow by 2.7%, down from 3.1% forecast in May.
However, the OECD said global economic growth would speed up by 2015.
The OECD also revised down its global growth forecast for 2014, which it now estimates at 3.6%. In May, it had forecast 4%.
In a first estimate for 2015, it predicts growth of 3.9%.
The OECD said “weakness” in the banking system was a “major drag” on growth in the euro area.
OECD has cut global growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014 after weak prospects in emerging markets
The “potentially catastrophic crisis” over the debt ceiling in the US and “strong” market reaction to its suggestion of tapering had also unsettled confidence, it said.
OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan said: “Brinkmanship over fiscal policy in the United States remains a key risk and uncertainty.”
Carlo Padoan said hitting the debt ceiling could “knock the US and the global recovery off course”.
He called for monetary policy in the US to “remain accommodative for some time”.
The global economy would act as an “amplifier” for negative shocks from a “stronger slowdown” in emerging markets, Carlo Padoan said.
He cited population trends in emerging economies, and the narrowing gap with advanced economies, as behind the “fragility”.
“Downside risks dominate and policy must address them,” he said.
Carlo Padoan said high levels of public debt in Japan created risks, but commended its export growth, rising consumer spending and rebound in business investment.
He warned governments about the risks of complacency as recovery gained momentum.
“Policy inaction or mistakes could have much more severe consequences than the turbulence seen to date and jeopardize growth for years to come.”
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