Friday, September 14, 2012

Greeks work the longest hours in the EU; and other facts about the Greek labor markets

There has some confusion about the labor market situation in Greece. To clarify, here are the latest statistics:

1. Greek official unemployment rate is just under 24%.

2. Greek youth unemployment is the highest in the Eurozone, just under 54%.

Source: Bloomberg Briefs

3. Greeks work the longest hours in the EU (also longer than in the US).

4. Greek productivity however is $35 an hour, compared with $49 in the EU and $58 in the U.S. (McKinsey via Bloomberg).

5. Greece has the lowest labor participation rate (% of employable population that have jobs) in the EU: 66% vs. 73% average in the EU.

6. Greek official retirement age is 65 (not some of the nonsense numbers people have been sending around) and is likely going up to 67 as part of the agreement (yet to be concluded) between the government and troika.
H KAΘHMEPINH: - An effort to conclude an agreement between the government and the troika on about 11.5 billion euros of spending cuts is likely to lead to the retirement age in Greece rising from 65 to 67, Kathimerini understands.

Sources said Thursday that the coalition is poised to concede to the change as part of the austerity package demanded by the troika. Greece overhauled its pension system in 2010 but a new retirement age rise would lead to savings of 1 billion euros per year. The government believes this measure is a less damaging step than seeking the savings elsewhere.
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