(MENAFN - AFP) Greece's unemployment rate hit a new record high in June, the state statistics agency said on Thursday, despite recent signs that the country's battered economy is improving.
The jobless ratio climbed to 27.9 percent of the workforce in June from 27.6 percent a month earlier, with the young and women once again hit the hardest.
The agency noted that over 174,000 people had lost their jobs in the previous year, including over 20,000 over the last month.
Overall, more than 1.4 million Greeks were officially registered as unemployed, while 3.6 million people had jobs.
The highest rate was registered for youths aged 15-24, at 58.8 percent, and nearly one in three women -- 31.9 percent -- are also out of work.
The heavily-indebted country has been in recession since 2008, with unemployment continuously on the rise.
A break in the gloom came from the state statistics agency last week when it said the economy had shrunk at a slower rate in the second quarter of the year than forecast earlier.
The agency said that thanks to tourism proceeds, output had contracted by 3.8 percent on a 12-month comparison, compared to the earlier estimate of 4.6 percent.
But the country's leading union GSEE warned last week that unemployment is still likely to exceed 29 percent by the end of the year, and hit 31.5 percent in 2014, a situation unseen since 1961.
Dependent on international loans for its economic survival, Greece has had to accept deep austerity measures in exchange for financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
In a recent report, the IMF noted that Greek economy was "rebalancing" through recession, having lost 25 percent of its output since 2007.