Sunday, 26 June 2011


As loyal readers will know, I've got my own take on the employment statistics coming out of ELSTAT. To the cynic, the headline employment and unemployment rates are rife for manipulation and may in fact, in a small country, be more noise than information.

Personally, I follow four sets of indicators that I think are more useful, and because they are not systematically reported anywhere they are likely to be less biased. It's that time of the year again when I look at what the cats from Peiraeus brought in. Here is the latest LFS quarterly release in Greek and in English. [Many thanks Ariadne for pointing out the linking error!] And here's what I'm looking for:

1. The number of unemployed turning down job offers. 

Yes, it still happens and indeed it would in any labour market, good bad, improving or deteriorating. As I've discussed elsewhere, this figure incorporates a measure of the fear of unemployment but also some measure of expectation of future economic growth. This figure has come in at its lowest level since reliable records began.

2. and 3. The difference between the unemployment levels of foreigners and natives, postgraduate males and male school leavers.

These numbers are indicative of the returns to higher education and the extent to which migrant workers are welcomed by the labour market. When these figures deteriorate, you get angry young men. That's bad. This quarter, the returns on education part improved slightly, but the native bias deteriorated even further.

4. Unemployment in the worst-performing border region.

This figure tends to make politicians subject to nationalist pressures (not necessarily nationalists themselves) more likely to seek concessions from the party leadership. It could also mean more pressure to increase military spending.

This suggests to me that a surge of nationalist bullcrap is on its way. Brace yourselves, dear readers.

1 comment:

  1. Helo! =)
    Both the latest LFS quarterly release in Greek and in English links are the same link, in english, could you please post the link to the greek version again?
    thank you!


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