Greek unemployment, highest in EU, dips in early 2019

Greek national statistics show that unemployment, long the highest in the European Union, fell in the first quarter when compared to last year, but still afflicts around one in five Greeks.

The country's statistical authority said Thursday that the unemployment rate was 19.2% in the January-March period, compared to 21.2% a year earlier.

On a quarterly basis it was higher, but the tourism-reliant Greek job market fluctuates depending on the time of the year and quarterly data are not seasonally adjusted.

Greek unemployment has been falling over the past few years as the economy started to recover following a harsh recession. At its peak, it hit a whopping 28%.

For much of the time since 2010, Greece has relied on international bailout loans. Last summer, its bailout era formally ended.