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BoG: Greek Tourism Generates Jobs, Next Step Ensuring Flexibility

Tourism and process manufacturing are the main job-creating sectors in Greece, according to the Bank of Greece (BoG), which underlines however the need to move swiftly ahead with reforms that will ensure more flexibility of the job market.

Samos island, Tsamadou beach. Photo Source: Visit Greece/D. RozakiEmployment rates have improved over the last few years, but Greece still has a long way to go to achieve the EU average which is two times lower, while increasing job openings for long-term and full contract jobs. Indicatively, short-term or part-timers account for 15 percent of all positions, with female and youth unemployment rates still the highest in the EU.

In the meantime, in the first three months of 2019, jobless rates declined by 19.2 percent with the number of employed up by 2.4 percent.

More specifically, in the first three months of the year, process manufacturing accounted for 3.2 percent of employment against 0.7 percent in the same trimester in 2018, while tourism activities accounted for 6.7 percent, education 6.7 percent, professional, scientific and technical activities 5.6 percent, transport (6.0 percent) and public administration / defence 3.7 percent.

In the month of May alone, Greece’s tourism sector created a total of 105,284 new jobs, according to labor ministry data released last week. Based on Ergani system statistics, employment for May – coinciding with the official launch of the tourist season – declined by 3,441 jobs to 105,284 compared to the same month last year at 108,725.

“Structural reforms in the previous years have contributed to reducing labor market rigidities and enhancing workers’ mobility which is important,” said the BoG, adding that the private sector is behind an increasing number of recruitments, with the majority being flexible forms of employment.

The central bank goes on to note underline however that further structural reforms to maintain flexibility must be made.

The private sector accounted for 323,524 new hirings, up by an additional 15,355 against a total of 308,169 recorded last year. Dismissals in May were also up by 18,796 to 218,244 compared 199,444 in the same month a year ago.

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