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Some 50% of working-age Greeks are seeking employment abroad

19 December 2012 / 22:12:27  GRReporter
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Half of working-age Greeks are seeking employment abroad, according to a sociological survey conducted by the human resource management company Adecco. Only 3% of respondents have an actual proposal for employment outside the country, but that does not discourage the rest of the respondents from seeking new opportunities abroad. One third of those who would like to leave Greece say that the main reason for this is high unemployment. Some 26% say that the internal labour market does not offer development prospects in their desired field and 12% are paid the minimum wage and want to find something better abroad.

About 30% of surveyed households responded that they have at least one family member who is working and living in a foreign country. One third of those who would like to work abroad are unemployed. A significant number of these have a regular job but no certainty as to how long they will keep it, and a lesser number of respondents work part time on a casual basis.

Another 63% of participants in the inquiry say that they will have a good salary abroad, which is a major incentive for their decision. More than half of these want to live and develop in an environment with a high quality of life and 47% believe that they will have a better career and recognition than in Greece.

Following recent changes in labour legislation, the minimum wage in the country has fallen to 580 euro gross. Today, the majority of young people without work experience work part-time (6 hours a day) and receive 280 euro net after taxes and social security contributions and pension insurance.

47% of respondents with experience say that they would go abroad immediately if they were paid between 1,500 and 2,000 euro.

Only 14% want to find a job related to their particular speciality. 34% look for work associated at least partially with their education and experience gained, and 51% are willing to accept any job offer, provided that the remuneration is appropriate. More than half (53%) responded that they were determined to leave Greece as soon as they found a job in another country, while 41% said they would move only if the work was satisfactory.

About 42% of respondents consult Internet pages offering jobs abroad, 37% visit directly online profiles of companies they would like to work for, and 33% are informed of job vacancies abroad through Greek sources. Only 16% of respondents use the services of human resources management companies.

Seven out of ten respondents said they want to emigrate to a country member of the European Union - Germany, Britain, France, etc. Some 45% included the option to find a job outside the European Community in their desires, for example, the USA and Australia. Another 12% would like to look for opportunities in economically powerful countries in the Middle East.

Reasons restraining Greeks' final decision to go abroad are associated with emotional attachment to home and family (32%) and the need to take care of dependent family members, such as children or elderly parents (14%). Only one in ten said that, so far, they have had a satisfactory job and remuneration, and they do not need to try their luck elsewhere.

Meanwhile, The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany, predicted that, bearing in mind the current rate of negative growth, unemployment in Greece will reach 25% by the end of this year and almost 30% by the end of 2013.

These estimates are far more pessimistic than the expectations of the European Commission, which this week announced that the end of 2012 will see a 23.6% unemployment rate, while next year it will mark a small increase and will not exceed 24%.

According to the Institute, this year, the recession in Greece will reach 6%, in 2013 it will fall to 4%, and in 2014, the negative growth will continue at a slower pace, but will remain negative - 1%. The European Commission, however, has much more optimistic expectations for 2014, foreseeing that the country will finally enter a new period and will mark a 0.6% GDP growth.

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