Unemployment in Greece dropped to 9.2% in December 2023, down by 0.4% from November of the same year, according to the Greek Statistical Authority’s (ELSTAT) seasonally adjusted figures.

Compared to the corresponding month in 2022, when the jobless rate stood at 12.2, this represents a notable 3% drop.

The data showed employed individuals amounted to 4,264,292, marking a rise of 102,064 employees compared to December 2022 (2.5%) and 97,732 compared to November 2023 (2.3%).

The figure by the Greek Statistical Authority is 0.2% off the Eurostat’s estimate published on Tuesday, which placed the jobless rate for December 2023 at 9.4%.

The unemployed in Greece numbered 430,088 individuals, marking a decrease of 146,424 people compared to December 2022 (-25.4%) and a reduction of 746 individuals compared to November 2023 (-0.2%).

Individuals under 75 years old not included in the labor force, or “those outside the labor force,” meaning those who are neither employed nor actively seeking employment, totaled 3,093,407, reflecting an increase of 14,960 individuals compared to December 2022 (0.5%) and a decrease of 99,249 individuals compared to November 2023 (-3.1%).

Despite overall improvements, women in Greece remain persistently disadvantaged in the labor market, as the rate for females decreased to 11.2% in December 2023 from 11.6% in December 2022, while for men, it decreased to 7.1% from 8.9%. The gender gap highlights ongoing challenges and disparities in the Greek labor market.

Market pundits suggest that high jobless rates among the youth and women, partly attributed to “informal employment,” hurt the quality of life for young people, and by extension, more seriously, the demographic problem facing the country.

In the age group of 15-24 years, the unemployment rate decreased to 22.3% from 30.4%, and in the 25-74 age group, it lowered to 8.3% from 11.2% in December 2022.

Interestingly, at the same time, almost 9 out of 10 businesses report major difficulties in recruiting new employees from the available labor pool, even though companies claim they are not only seeking individuals with specialized skills and trained professionals but also unskilled workers.

It is worth noting that the staff shortage problem is not limited to sectors with seasonal activities, such as tourism and hospitality, but intersects all sectors of the economy.