Job creation is mostly seasonal

Employment in Greece rose by 1,311 jobs last month, according to figures for August from the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database that were released on Monday, but this increase had much to do with seasonal factors.

Most of the top 10 job creators last month have a seasonal profile, with fruit packagers posting the highest positive balance, of 3,958 jobs, after factoring in 6,649 hirings and 2,691 layoffs. That was followed by teaching staff at private tuition schools, with a balance of 1,055 jobs, and cleaners, with a balance of 1,030 jobs. Unqualified workers increased by 716 and bus and truck drivers rose by 675.

The sectors with the highest number of hirings were wholesale commerce (3,891 new jobs net), education (3,421), and specialized construction activities (372).

The net increase in employment last month mostly affected women, as out of the total of 1,311 additional jobs, 1,037 concerned women and 274 men. Age-wise, 45-to-64-year-olds enjoyed the biggest increase in employment, by 3,217 jobs, ahead of the 30-44 age group (1,811). The largest negative balance was recorded in the group of workers up to the age of 24 (-2,926) and in the 25-29 age bracket (-806 jobs).

In total, over the first eight months of the year, Ergani showed that 190,883 jobs were created against 102,580 in the same period in 2013.

According to Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, all data point to the stabilization of the labor market, while figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority have shown in recent months that the gradual decline of unemployment has already started.

In its recent report on the Greek economy, the General Confederation of Greek Llabor (GSEE) observed that after four years of constantly falling employment, the balance between hirings and layoffs has turned positive. However it stressed that this is mainly due to the legalization of previously undeclared labor, as well as programs for subsidized employment.