Greek Unemployment Hits 24.4%

Greek Unemployment Hits 24.4%

Greece’s jobless rate rose to 24.4 percent in June with more than 1.2 million people unemployed, official data showed on Thursday ahead of an EU-IMF audit crucial to the country’s economic survival.

The state statistics agency said that more than 50,000 people had lost their jobs since May, a number that rose to 358,000 since June 2011.

Hardest hit by a recession now in its fifth year were those aged up to 24, who suffered from a jobless rate of 55 percent, the data showed.

Women also had tougher job prospects than men.

Greek unemployment has almost tripled since 2007, the agency said.

Unions have warned the rate will exceed 30 percent if the government persists with austerity measures demanded by international creditors in return for bailout loans.

The government is preparing to announce a new budget cut package of about 11.6 billion euros ($2.0 billion) to unlock a loan installment worth 31.5 billion euros aimed at keeping the distressed economy going.

Senior auditors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are to arrive in Athens on Friday to finalise the package with Greek authorities.


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