Shrinking economic activity in Greece continues to have negative consequences on employment, which will continue to decrease throughout 2011, a European Commission report on employment outlook in the European Union stated on Tuesday.
The report, said that lower employment opportunities in the private sector, combined with a freeze in hirings and reducing contract-workers in the public sector were expected to push the unemployment rate above 15 pct of the workforce in 2012 in Greece.
The Commission stressed that a negative situation in the labour market combined with a continuing reduction of wages were expected to burden available income in the medium-term, reducing real demand in the country. The EU’s executive noted that continuing tax uncertainties could further shrink private consumption in the country.
The Commission, in its report, citing Hellenic Statistical Authority’s data, said employment fell 5.4 pct in March 2011 compared with the same month in 2010, with the number of unemployed people totaling 811,000. Employment fell 7.7 pct in the first quarter in the primary sector, by 13.8 pct in the secondary sector and by 2.2 pct in the third sector. The Commission forecasts that the economy will shrink by 3.5 pct this year, while a recovery was expected to return “by the last quarters of the year or later and will be more visible after 2012”.