Unemployment has begun falling after almost five years, following a stabilization recorded in 2013, Labour, Social Insurance and Welfare Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said on Thursday.
Addressing the annual HR Forum 2014, Mr. Vroutsis said that the unemployment rate fell to 26.7% in January this year, from 27.7% in September, remaining on a declining trend for four successive months and underlined that according to official figures the labor balance showed a significant surplus of new hirings in April, while uninsured labor fell to 21.86% in February from 40.5% in the corresponding month last year.
The Greek minister attributed the improvement in the unemployment rate to reforms made in the labour market and noted that if these reforms had been done earlier and impact of the crisis on the labour market would have been milder and more manageable.
Mr. Vroutsis said that a reduction in the non-payroll cost by five percentage points could create 30,000 new job positions immediately.
He also underlined measures taken to restructure the social insurance system through a series of actions enhancing the collection ability of pension funds.
He added that a successful return of the country to international markets -for the first time in four years- was evidence that markets acknowledged these positive developments. He also stressed that combating unemployment was the basic target of a national effort to bring the economy back to a new dynamic growth course.