The European Central Bank has estimated that the rate of unemployment in Greece may increase to 28.1% in 2016, thus painting a grim picture for thousands of Greek households.
According to ECB 9 in 10 unemployed people receive absolutely no support from the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), neither an unemployment benefit or employment subsidies. Only 10% receive an unemployment benefit from OAED, while only 0.78% of the long-term unemployed receive an additional 200-euro benefit.
Greece tops the unemployment charts with a 25% rate, followed by Spain (21.6%) and Croatia (15.4%). In the past five years an estimated 1 million job spots have been lost and the ECB claims that it could take 25 years to restore them. The ECB report also notes how almost half of Greek people aged 15 to 24 (48.5%) are out of a job, which is triple the OECD average.
Furthermore, Greece was found to have the highest rate of long-term unemployed (73.1%), with the rate increasing five-fold between 2008 and 2014. Greece also has a high rate of longer-term unemployment amongst young people, which has been estimated to be about 60%.
Reports show extent of Greek ‘brain drain’
About 550,000 highly-qualified Greeks have emigrated abroad, to the EU and North America between 1998 and 2007, while over 150,000 scientists have emigrated between 2010 and 2013.
A 2015 study by Endeavor Greece shows that over 200,000 Greeks, most of whom are under 35, have left the country since the onset of the crisis to find a job. Most of those who have left have multiple undergraduate and post-graduate diplomas, with 41% having at least one degree, 73% having a post-graduate degree and 51% having a doctorate. Within the European Union, Germany and the UK are the most popular destination for Greeks, with both countries having received about half of Greeks who have emigrated.
Each point of employment has results in a reduction of at least 250 million euros in contributions, on an annual basis, towards the country’s pension system. Since 2014 about 6.5 billion euros have been lost from the pension system due to the huge rate of unemployment in Greece.