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The jobless rate could be even higher were it not for labour market reforms implemented under the two previous bailout agreements.
“The reforms helped remove rigidities that prevented wages from adjusting to economic conditions, through a sharp reduction in minimum wages and the suspension of automatic salary increases due to seniority,” says Miranda Xafa, senior researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
But the outlook is still bleak. About half of Greece’s registered unemployed have been without a job for more than a year, while many have simply given up searching for work.