Sunday, 21 March 2010


Our latest Labour Force Survey Data are in and my, is it rich pickings or what.

Only about 54% of our population of working age is actually working. Of the 4.5m. that are working, half a million are directly employed in the public sector. Let's say for now that this is everyone on the public payroll. This means that 4m suckers have to pick up the tab for another 7m who are either children, retired, unemployed or working in the public sector. Except of course they don't because we're running a massive deficit that finances much of this. So it's the 4m and their kids. But it's a useful ratio nonetheless.

Unemployment is at 10.3%, a total of  514,000 souls. Most of these are victims of our perverse labour market and our structurally depressed economy. However, the LFS also suggests that 9.9% of our unemployed received an offer of employment in the last three months and turned it down - quite rich really, as vacancies are like golddust right now.

Of these 51,400:

  • 11,300 didn't like the money
  • 9,700 thought the job was too far to travel
  • 9,500 didn't like the hours.
Now, presumably, you tend to check these things out before an offer comes in, so the mind truly boggles at what my workshy compatriots are thinking.

The government should also note that these happy-go-lucky folk cost us a whopping EUR18.7m per month based on current rates of unemployment benefit - or 224m, projected on an annual basis. That is, of course if they are single, because this rises by 10% for each dependent. Let's suppose 0.3 dependents per person - the bill rises to EUR298m per annum.

Now, I know this is not entirely accurate as many of our unemployed do not claim benefits - but even assuming only half of the workshy claim (based on the fact that our social expenditure is only about half what the unemployment rate suggests, the total expense implied rises to a full 5% of our projected benefits expenditure for 2010.

Even if that is the case, then presumably the other EUR149m is coming out of somewhere else - almost certainly some poor old bastard's savings. Even with our pretty chronic loan-to-deposit ratio of 81.3%, this means that those of the workshy being subsidised by the Bank of Mom and Dad (the unofficial Greek Central Bank)  are keeing EUR121m out of the market. With the median small-to-medium-sized business loan in Greece at ca. EUR100,000 (according to this survey), this could give a good 1,200 SMEs a much-needed loan, keeping possibly twice that number of people in employment, or it could pay for about half that number of hefty mortgages, fueling a 12% rise in construction permits.

Well done assholes!

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