Greek May Jobless Rate at 25% With Economy Facing Bleak Outlook

Greece’s unemployment rate dropped to a three-year low in May even as the country faced off with international creditors.

The jobless rate fell to 25 percent in May from 25.6 percent in April, according to data published on Thursday. While that’s the lowest since June 2012 and less than the 25.5 percent median estimate from five economists in a Bloomberg survey, the figures predate the country’s banking shutdown in June that lead to a collapse in economic confidence.

Greece’s economy has shrunk for two straight quarters and may contract as much as 4 percent this year, according to a July 29 report from the parliamentary budget office. That could push the jobless rate back up toward the 27.9 percent record seen in September 2013.

The May jobless rate was more than twice as high among Greeks aged 15 to 24 at 51.8 percent. Epirus-Western Macedonia and Thessaly-Sterea Ellas were the regions with the highest unemployment rate, with 26.7 percent of the labor force out of work.