Greek unemployment jumps to 17.0% in May, highest in nine months


ATHENS, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Greece's jobless rate rose to 17.0% in May from an upwardly revised 15.7% reading in the previous month, data from the country's statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

It was the lowest jobless rate since June 2011 but the highest reading in the last nine months.

Seasonally adjusted data showed the number of unemployed at 764,912 people, with those aged up to 24 bearing the brunt of being out of work.

Among younger persons aged 15 to 24, the jobless rate rose to 37.5% from 32.2% in the same month in 2019. Greece's jobless rate, which hit a record high of 27.8% in September 2013, had been falling since but remains the highest in the euro zone.

Greece's 2020 budget projected growth picking up this year, helping to drive joblessness down to 15.6% but a government-imposed lockdown to stem the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic has thrown forecasts off.

The EU Commission estimates unemployment in Greece will rise to 19.9% this year, projecting the economy will contract by 9.0%.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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