Greek unemployment jumped to 15.9 pct in February this year, with the number of unemployed people totalling 787,229, up by 181,952 in 12 months, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday. The statistics service, in a report, noted that unemployment soared among young people, with the unemployment rate in the category rising to 40.4 pct in February, up 8.5 percentage points from the same month last year.

The unemployment rate jumped to 15.9 pct in February, from 12.1 pct in February 2010 and 15.1 pct in January 2011. The number of unemployed people rose by 181,952 in February from the same month in 2010 (an increase of 30.1 pct) and by 30,435 or 4.0 pct compared with January 2011. The number employed people totalled 4,178,312 in February, down 225,739 compared with February 2010 and by 89,272 compared with January 2011.

The unemployment rate among people aged 15-24 was 40.4 pct (32 pct in February 2010), in the 25-34 age group rose to 19.9 pct from 15.2 pct in 2010 and in the 35-44 age group rose to 14.4 pct from 10.4 pct last year. Among women, the unemployment rate rose to 19 pct in February from 15.3 pct in the same month last year.

Southern Aegean (32.7 pct from 21.3 pct), western Macedonia (23.9 pct from 16.6 pct), Ionian Islands (22.4 pct from 16.8 pct), western Greece (17.1 pct from 10.6 pct) and central Macedonia (16.3 pct from 12.6 pct) recorded the highest unemployment rates, while the unemployment rate in Attica jumped to 14.8 pct in February from 10.9 pct in February 2010.