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Over 60% of Greek youth jobless
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

GREEK youth unemployment rose above 60 percent for the first time in February, reflecting the pain caused by the country's crippling recession after years of austerity under its international bailout.

Greece's 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 12.1 percent in March.

While the overall unemployment rate rose to 27 percent, according to statistics service data released yesterday, joblessness among those aged between 15 and 24 jumped to 64.2 percent in February from 59.3 percent in January.

Youth unemployment stood at 54.1 percent in March 2012, the data revealed.

"It is by far the highest youth unemployment rate in the eurozone, highlighting the difficulties young people face in entering the labor market despite government incentives to create jobs," said economist Nikos Magginas at National Bank.

Athens has cut the minimum monthly wage for those under 25 years by 32 percent to about 500 euros (US$656) to entice hiring.

Greece's economy is in its sixth year of recession, battered by tax increases and spending cuts demanded by its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. The economy is expected to slump by 4.2 to 4.5 percent this year.

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Copyright Shanghai Daily: Business