ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s unemployment rate rose to a new record of 26 percent in September, underscoring the economic plight in the country as it heads toward a sixth year of recession.
The Greek Statistical Authority said Thursday that 1.295 million people — more than one-fourth of the workforce in this nation of 10 million — were recorded as unemployed in September. Unemployment rose from 25.3 percent the previous month and 18.9 percent a year earlier.
Greek unemployment has surged to the highest since the 1960s as a result of harsh austerity measures imposed in return for vital international rescue loans.
The conservative-led coalition government is finalizing a major tax reform bill, demanded by international rescue creditors as one of several conditions for continued payments. It has promised to try to stem the country’s recession, despite being forced last month to introduce another round of deeply unpopular austerity measures that are part of Greece’s bailout commitments.