Greek Unemployment Hits New Record
Women walk past an unemployment bureau at Kallithea suburb in Athens Reuters

Greek unemployment rate has surged to a record 27 percent in November as the country's continuing austerity measures seriously affect the labour market.

The November jobless rate compares to 26.6 percent in October 2012 and 20.8 percent in November 2011. Further, the rate was more than double the euro zone's average rate of 11.7 percent in November.

The number of employed people for the month declined by 0.8 percent to 3.6 million from October, while the number of unemployed increased by 1.5 percent to 1.4 million, according to the country's Statistics Agency. The number of inactive - persons that neither worked neither looked for a job - was 3.3 million, down 0.1 percent from October.

The young people were the worst affected in the population, with unemployment reaching 61.7 percent in the 15-24 age group in November.

Having experienced recession for the sixth consecutive year, Greece has been depending on international aid to keep its economy alive.

While agreeing for bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other euro countries, Greece promised deepened spending cuts and tax hikes, which have resulted in the closing of a number of businesses in the country. Consequently, thousands of people lost their jobs pushing up the poverty levels in the country.

The statistics agency separately said that the country's GDP has contracted 6 percent further in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the previous year. The economy contracted at 6.7, 6.4 and 6.7 percent respectively in the previous three quarters of 2012.

For full year 2012, the Greek economy shrank by about 6.5 percent, following a 7.1 percent contraction in 2011.

About one third of the 11 million Greek population are projected to live in poverty by the end of 2012, according to a study by Greece's largest trade union, GSEE. The poverty line in Greece is set at an annual personal income of less than €7,200 (£6,197, $9,616).