Report finds that since 2009, employees have lost about one quarter of the purchasing power they have from their incomes, adding that if high unemployment continues to place pressure on wages, then they will lose half of their purchasing power in 2014
It will take 20 years to create one million jobs – the number of positions lost since the start of the crisis – and bring the unemployment rate down below the pre-crisis level of 10%, a study to be published later this month will claim.
The annual report from the Labour Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), which represents private-sector employees, will say that as the expected investments in the intervening two decades will not be labour intensive or high-tech, this will produce so-called “jobless growth”.
For the second month running, unemployment rose to a new record high of 27.6% in May, the most recent month for which figures are available. That month, 1,381,088 people were registered as out of work, compared to 452,465 in the same month in 2009.
The full report is expected to be published ahead of the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, an occasion usually used by the government to set out its economic agenda for the coming year.
The report also finds that since 2009, employees have lost about one quarter of the purchasing power they have from their incomes, adding that if high unemployment continues to place pressure on wages, then they will lose half of their purchasing power in 2014.
The institute says that the earnings of salaried employees and the self-employed had fallen by €41bn in the last three years.
In addition, it finds domestic demand has slumped to 1999 levels, while in from 2011 to 2013, the stock of fixed capital has fallen for the first time since the end of the Greek civil war (1949).
In a statement, the labour ministry condemned the report, saying it was authored by “prophets of pessimism … using worst-case mathematical models to predict destruction” and engage in “games of sensationalism”.
“All the official data on the state of employment and unemployment in the last year in our country refutes them and shows a more optimistic outlook,” it said.
“According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat), the rate of increase in unemployment on an annual basis declined from 42.8% in July 2012 to 16.3% in May 2013,” it said, stating that this was “a clear sign of stabilisation in the labour market”.
It said that the Ergani system, which records hirings and firings in the private sector in real, showed that 102,580 new jobs were created in the first eight months of the year, the biggest increase since 2008.