Pandemic deals heavy blow to job market – Alpha Bank 

According to an Alpha Bank report, the balance of employment flows amounted to 111,300 in the first seven months of 2020, which is the worst performance since 2014, despite the increase in recruitment in the two months of June-July. Therefore, according to available data, it does not appear that the recovery of recruitment in recent months is able to offset the effects of the pandemic in the labor market. 

The impact of the pandemic on the labor market is something more than negative, mainly during the period January - July 2020, which, according to data put together by Alpha Bank, was the worst seven months since 2014. 

At the same time, significant changes have been recorded in the labor sector, with a significant increase in flexible employment, such as remote employment, the conversion of full time positions into part-time jobs, reflecting a significant reduction in working hours in the private sector as a result of a sharp drop in productive activity. 

According to an Alpha Bank report, the balance of employment flows amounted to 111,300 in the first seven months of 2020, which is the worst performance since 2014, despite the increase in recruitment in the two months of June-July. 

Therefore, according to available data, it does not appear that the recovery of recruitment in recent months is able to offset the effects of the pandemic in the labor market. 

Clearly a crucial factor for the labor market will be, according to Alpha Bank, the evolution of the pandemic, which will determine the exact level of unemployment. COVID-19 significantly delayed seasonal work and eventually squeezed its total annual number. 

This reduction, however, is considered to be relatively small, given the importance of the tourism industry for employment in Greece. This development is due, to a large extent, to the support measures for companies and employees implemented by the Greek government, in addition to the European Commission’s SURE program concerning the financing of part-time work or similar measures aimed at protecting employment. 

In addition to job losses, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market have been reflected in other areas. Among them is the increase in the economically inactive population, as a number of people who were not working nor looking for work stated that they are not immediately available to work. As a result, the number of unemployed continued to decline. 

Specifically, in May, the economically inactive population increased by 6.4 percent on an annual basis, while the unemployed recorded an equal decrease. It is noted that the proportionally larger decrease in the number of unemployed, on an annual basis, compared to the marginal fall, respectively, of the unemployment rate, is explained by the shift of the population from unemployment to the economically inactive population and the consequent reduction in labor force. 

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