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Greece's jobless rate at historical high, 20.9 per cent

The Greek jobless rate hit a new record high at 20.9 percent in November up from 18.2 percent the previous month, the Greek Statistical Authority announced on Thursday, according to Xinhua News.

Over one million Greeks in a 4.4 million-strong workforce are unemployed with youth under 25 being the hardest hit. The unemployment rate in this category rose to 48 percent in November up from 35.6 percent a year ago.

The announcement of the latest official figures was made a few hours after Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and the parties backing his transitional government reached an in-principle deal on a new package of austerity policies that, according to critics, will fuel further recession and unemployment.

The austerity and reform measures are being passed in return for a second rescue loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to avert a Greek default in mid-March.

Government officials and international lenders argue that planned reductions in labor costs in the private sector will boost competitiveness, create new jobs and support efforts to overcome the debt crisis.

Meanwhile Greek leaders have agreed on almost all the austerity and reform measures in exchange for a bailout package. Source: Xinhua News