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Greece’s Unemployment Rate Increased to Record High in May

Greece’s unemployment rate rose to a record in May, amid the sixth year of an economic slump that has been deepened by austerity measures tied to bailouts from euro-area governments and the International Monetary Fund.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 27.6 percent from a revised 27 percent in April, the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was 26.9 percent. The April unemployment rate was revised from a previous reading of 26.9 percent.

Greece’s recession has been exacerbated by spending cuts and tax increases linked to two bailouts from the euro area and the IMF totaling 240 billion euros ($320 billion). Gross domestic product contracted 6.4 percent in 2012 and will drop 4.2 percent this year before output expands in 2014, IMF staff said in a report last week.

The unemployment rate for Greeks aged 15 to 24 was 64.9 percent, while the total female jobless rate was 31.6 percent. The region with the highest rate was Epirus-western Macedonia, at 30.5 percent.

The May unemployment rate is the highest level since the agency began publishing monthly data in 2004.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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