Greece's jobless rate hit a new record high of 27.6 percent in May, official national data showed on Thursday (August 8) as the country staggers under austerity linked to its international bailout.
Record joblessness is a nightmare for Greece's two-party coalition government as it scrambles to hit fiscal targets and show there is light at the end of the tunnel after years of unpopular tax rises and cuts to wages and pensions.
Unemployment rose to 27.6 percent from an upwardly revised 27.0 percent reading in April, according to data from statistics service ELSTAT and was more than twice the average rate in the euro zone which stood at 12.1 percent in June.
With the economy suffering its sixth straight year of recession and 1.38 million people officially without jobs, the pain is felt across the board. Borrowers fall behind on loans and fewer workers pay into pension funds.
Data showed that those aged 15 to 24 remained the hardest-hit as the jobless rate for this age group hit 64.9 percent.
A turnaround will take time to be felt in the labour market even if recovery sets in next year as authorities project. The central bank projects unemployment will peak at 28 percent before it starts to decline in 2015.
Presented by Adam Justice