Unemployment in Greece reaches new high of 26 per cent at end of 2012

ATHENS, Greece – Unemployment in debt-crippled Greece rose to a record of 26 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, as austerity measures combined with a deep recession took a harsh toll on the workforce.

The figures were worse than the previous quarter’s 24.8 per cent, and 20.7 per cent a year earlier.

The national statistical authority said Thursday that 1.29 million people were out of a job in October-December 2012. In the under 25 age group, unemployment was 57.8 per cent.

The rate for women was 29.7 per cent, compared with 23.3 per cent for men.

Greece’s economy has been falling apart over the past three years, savaged by its financial crisis. The country is surviving on international rescue loans, released on condition it keeps up a tough program of spending cuts and tax hikes.