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Covid-19 Weighs on Seasonal Employment in Greece

Far-reaching measures and flexibility have ensured that jobs were not lost in June, but according to Greek labor ministry data released this week, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has taken a considerable toll on seasonal employment, which is for the most part generated by tourism.

More specifically, based on the labor ministry’s Ergani system statistics, there were a total of 238,353 announcements for recruitment in June against 200,785 departures of which 82,246 were voluntary and 118,539 after termination of contracts or fixed-term agreements.

The data indicates a balance of recruitment/dismissals for June despite Covid-19. Compared to last year, there were 6,161 additional job announcements in June 2020 – a positive balance of 37,568 jobs – against 31,407 in June 2019 – the second highest recorded positive balance since June 2001.

Of these, 49.84 percent were for full-time positions and 50.16 percent for flexible forms of employment.

In the six-month period (January-June 2020), there were 850,401 announcements for jobs, with 807,007 departures, of which 458,365 were due to termination of contracts or fixed-term contracts – thus maintaining a positive balance in the first six months of the year with 43,394 new jobs: much lower compared to previous years at 296,466 in 2019; 298,171 in 2018; and 255,903 in 2017.


The labor ministry cites the Covid-19 pandemic for the poor figures and its impact on the tourism sector, which is the main employer, particularly from March to May ahead of the tourism season.

Indicatively, Greece’s tourism sector created 105,284 new jobs in May 2019, according to the labor ministry. According to INSETE data, Greek tourism services providers in accommodation and F&B accounted for 10.6 percent of all employment for the July-September 2018 period up from 7.7 percent in 2009.

“Our policies are in the right direction but we still need to make many more and continuous efforts,” said Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis of the figures, adding that from the outbreak of Covid-19, the government made every effort to secure jobs.

In this direction, Vroutsis referred to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ announcement on Friday for additional support and job retention measures.

Meanwhile, Greece is expecting 70 percent fewer arrivals from abroad this month, according to Greek daily Naftemporiki. The daily reports that tourism traffic through Athens International Airport in July will come to 30 percent of the total last year, to 600,000 against 2.06 million visitors in the same month in 2019.

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