Greek underemployment second in Europe
Greece's underemployment rate in EU-27 during 2010 hit a record high of 49%, amongst part-time workers who are forced to work for less hours and extremely low wages, not by choice, but by necessity.
According to statistical data from Eurostat, which was released on Friday, there were 41.3 million persons working part-time in 2010 in the EU-27, of which three quarters were women.
Amongst those employed part-time, 8.5 million, or 21%, wished to work more hours, were available to do so1 and can therefore be classified as underemployed. The share of part-time workers who are underemployed was higher for men (27%) than for women (19%).
The highest percentages of "partial unemployment" were found in Latvia (65%), Greece (49%), Spain (46%), Bulgaria (39%) and Slovakia (38%), member states that have some of the lower minimum wages in Europe, which combined with the unemployment rate, outline the actual grim situation in their national labor market.
It is worth noting that the soaring rates of unemployment recorded in Greece, according to data from the Greek Labour Inspectorate, increased in both absolute numbers and in proportion to the entire workforce, from 18.95 % in 2000 and 21.65% in 2005, to 33.1% of all new employment contracts during the first nine months of 2011. Moreover, in 2010, 26.253 full-time employment contracts were forced by employers to change into part-time contracts, and already during the first nine months of 2011 that number has risen to 42,488, showing the corresponding level of worker's impoverishment, thus decreasing the amount of disposable income, which consequently leads to greater domestic economic recession.