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Greek unemployment rate fell to 22.5 pct in March

Greek unemployment rate eased to 22.5 pct of the workforce in March this year, from 22.9 pct in February and 23.8 pct in March 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.

The statistics service, in a monthly report, said that the number of unemployed people was 1,068,469 in March, with unemployment continuing rising among people approaching retirement age.

The number of unemployed people fell 74,515 in March (down 6.5 pct from March 2016) and by 19,400 compared with February 2017 (a decline of 1.8 pct). The number of employed people totaled 3,682,416 in March, up 31,154 from March 2016 (an increase of 0.9 pct) and up 11,439 from February 2017 (an increased of 0.3 pct).

The economically non-active population (out of work and not seeking job) totaled 3,270,865 in March, up 0.2 pct from March 2016 and up 0.2 pct from February 2017. Unemployment among women eased to 26.7 pct in March from 28.6 pct in March 2016, significantly up compared with men (19.1 pct from 20 pct).

The unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group eased to 46.6 pct in March from 50 pct in March last year, followed by the 25-34 age group (29.5 pct from 30.3 pct), the 35-44 age group (19.6 pct from 20.8 pct), the 55-64 age group (19 pct from 19.2 pct), the 45-54 age group (18.2 pct from 19.8 pct) and the 65-74 age group (12.7 pct from 12 pct).

Among the country's regions, Epirus-Western Macedonia recorded the highest unemployment rate (27.4 pct in March from 28.5 pct in March 2016), followed by Peloponese-Western Greece-Ionian Islands (23.3 pct from 23.8 pct), Macedonia-Thrace (22.6 pct from 24.4 pct), Crete (22.6 pct from 23.3 pct), Thessaly-Central Greece (22.5 pct from 26.6 pct), Attica (21.8 pct from 23.1 pct) and Aegean (17.9 pct from 16.3 pct).