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Greek Unemployment Rate Climbed to Record 26% in September

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s unemployment rate extended its record high, climbing to 26 percent in September as the country heads into a sixth year of recession.

The rate rose from a revised 25.3 percent in August, the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. Joblessness is at the highest since the agency began publishing monthly data in 2004.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition government last month approved austerity measures demanded by creditors to continue receiving aid. Greece has had two bailouts, the first in May 2010, from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The recession and deepening labor slump have been exacerbated by spending cuts and tax increases imposed to trim a budget deficit that was more than five times the euro-area limit in 2009. The economy will shrink as much as 4.5 percent next year and unemployment is seen at over 26 percent in 2013 and 2014, the Athens-based Bank of Greece predicted on Dec. 3.

A breakdown of today’s release showed the female jobless rate was 30 percent, while the rate for Greeks aged 15 to 24 was 56 percent. That’s more than double the youth unemployment rate of 26 percent in September 2009, before a deficit blowout sparked the euro-area sovereign debt crisis.

The highest regional jobless rate was in Epirus and Attica, which includes Athens and is the country’s largest region, at 28 percent and 27.6 percent respectively, the statistical authority said. The lowest rate was in Crete, at 20 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at

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