National Bank report: Greek labor market recovery picks up, uptick in qualitative aspects

19 September 2017
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National Bank of Greece, in a report published on Monday, noted that employment growth in the recession-battered country picked up the second quarter of 2017 by 2.3 percent, yoy, and up 1.4 percent compared to the first quarter of the year.

The figures were based on data released by the Greek statistics authority (EL.STAT), with NBG adding that the employment growth sector remains in “positive territory for a 12th consecutive quarter.”

In other highlights, the NBG report notes:
– The creation of 48K jobs (net) in Q2:2017 (seasonally-adjusted quarterly basis) and of 90K jobs, in total, in H1:2017 corresponds to the best performance since the 1st semester of 2008.
– The cumulative increase in employment between the peak of the crisis in Q4:2013 and Q2:2017 reached 217K jobs or almost 20% of total jobs lost during the crisis. In this vein, the unemployment rate declined to a 5-year low of 21.2% in June 2017 from 23.4% in December 2016, 6.7 pps below its peak of 27.9% in September 2013.
– From a total of 48K new employment positions (seasonally-adjusted figures) created in Q2:2017, 19K were in the accommodation and food services sector and 4K in transportation. Moreover, the strong rebound of 15K in employment in the retail and wholesale trade sector and of 7K jobs in manufacturing is also estimated to, at least, partially reflect buoyant tourism activity.
– Employment is heading to an even stronger Q3:2017, with key survey indicators of employment prospects in the business sector climbing to their highest level in 8 years (sub-components of the EC’s sectoral business surveys and the employment component of Markit’s manufacturing PMI). The above trend in high frequency indicators presages, according to NBG research estimates, a healthy expansion of about 2.4% y-o-y in employment in Q3:2017, which corresponds to a net addition of 16K jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in this quarter. Overall, the average increase in employment in FY:2017 is estimated to reach 2.2% y-o-y or +85K positions (compared with +2.0% y-o-y and +77K jobs in 2016), with the unemployment rate declining to 21.4% in Q4:2017 from 23.4% in Q4:2016.

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