Stories about Greece

questionnaire – youth unemployment

As a student at the University of Indianapolis, me and another student (Nikolaos Mitsopoulos) conducted a questionnaire about youth unemployment in Greece, in order to conclude to some accurate results about its effects.

Our questionnaire was divided into three parts. The first section is about the background information of youth unemployed and it is composed by their gender, age, marital and educational status. The second section is about the youth unemployed history and the third part is about their major concerns and ideas about their situation.

We have interviewed 30 people, 15 male and 15 female. Their age was between 19 to 25 years old. We have been able to understand from their responses, what they believe about the current situation in Greece and what are their major concerns now that they are unemployed.

The 15 male were all single and had bachelor’s degree. Ninety per cent of the men wrote that their cause of unemployment was that the wages are too low and that there is not enough information concerning availability of jobs. Ten per cent of them stated that they didn’t have enough time for a full time job because of their studies and that it is difficult to find a job during this period of economic crisis.

It is also important to mention that 95% of all men interviewed, said that they were prepared to do any kind of work. The other 5% supplemented that they were looking for any kind of jobs but they would like to be able to choose if they would take it or not, if it came to that. In addition, it is crucial to underline that they stated that if they had the opportunity to have a job preference 50% would rather have a white collar job, 30% a blue collar job and 20%  wouldn’t care were to work for.

It is also interesting to underline that 80% of men declared that they haven’t worked since their last job which was more than five months ago. Ten per cent of them (ages 19-23) haven’t found a work since they left school and another 10% was not able to find work at all. All men stated that they are still unemployed since they haven’t had any job offers. Most of the 15 men that we interviewed in order to supplement the questionnaires has already had more than 6 jobs (80%) in the past. The other 10% has had in the past 2 to 3 different jobs and the other 10% has never worked.

Furthermore, we asked the men about the main reasons for looking for a job, besides the fact that they are adults. One hundred per cent of them stated that they want to be independent so that they won’t have to be a burden to their families and to also gain experience.

The third section of the questionnaire consisted of the major concerns and ideas now that are unemployed. The most important factor of them being unemployed is that they don’t have opportunities to gain experience and learn. In addition, the low wages that most jobs offer right now and the economic safety that a job provides are major concerns.

 Another significant factor is that they all believe that unemployment has led to corruption, dishonesty, crimes and racism. Additionally, all believe that the economic crisis, the political instability and the educational system of Greece has led to high unemployment. They have all also stated that government has never, in any way, helped the youth due to the unemployment problem.    

 Finally, they were all asked if they have considered leaving Greece because of its economic crisis. Eighty per cent of men thought of leaving but they are not sure while the other 20% is strongly thinking of leaving and finding work elsewhere. They were also asked to give suggestions about how the youth unemployment could be solved. Ninety per cent of them suggested that Greece should invest in new technologies and machinery so people could have more job opportunities. The other 10% believe that everything is happening because of the Memorandum and that is why Greece should exit of the IMF (International Monetary Fund).

On the other hand, 10% of the 15 women that we asked were married and the others were single. In addition, all women have bachelor degrees and their age is between 20 and 23 years. Fifty per cent of the women stated that the cause of their unemployment is due to lack of experience. Twenty per cent of them elaborated that there are not enough jobs; another 20% believes that there is not enough information about availability of jobs and another 10% stated that they don’t know the real cause of their unemployment.

 It is important also to underline that 80% of the women wrote that they are looking to find any kind of job, but they want to be given the opportunity to accept it or not. Ten per cent stated that they would like to find a job that could provide them the same or a higher wage of salary that they used to have at their former job and another 10% reported that they would settle for any kind of work.

 In addition, it vital to underline that 90% of the women stated that they had worked approximately 1 to 2 jobs and 10% 3 to 4. Besides, 10% have been without work since they left school and 90% since their last job (months). Moreover, 90% of women interviewed said that if they had the opportunity to choose the kind of job they would like to do, it would have been a white collar job. On the other hand, 10% would prefer more a blue collar job. All women stated that they want to get a job because they mostly want to be independent and get experience.

 The women were asked about their major concerns now that that they are unemployed. One hundred per cent of them stated that the safety that a job provides is very important. In addition it is vital to learn and gain experience. Besides, 80% of the women interviewed showed great concern of the low wages that Greece offers and the minimal opportunities for promotion. The other 20% thought that all the above mentioned factors are very important.

It is significant to underline that 20% of the women interviewed believe that the educational system in Greece is not responsible for the high unemployment among the educated youth while 80% believe that it is a major factor. Despite this, 100% of all women strongly believe that the government is not helping the youth with the unemployment issue.

 Furthermore, 90% of the women believe that the political instability in Greece is the main reason for youth unemployment when 10% disagrees. Fifty per cent of women want to leave Greece due to its economic crisis. The other 50% would consider abandoning Greece although it would be their last choice.

 Women were also asked if they have any suggestions on how to solve the unemployment problem in Greece. They suggested investing in more new companies, having a better educational system and more stable government. In that way more jobs would be offered and youth would know where to look for and have the appropriate skills and training to be employed. 

 To sum up, as we can see there are many different opinions about the youth unemployment among men and women. It is interesting to underline from the answers given that men have more trouble finding work than women. Also men don’t care so much about what work they get in the contrast to women. In addition, women are more willing to leave Greece than men and believe that unemployment does not lead to corruption and dishonesty. At last they both believe that the economic crisis and the political instability have brought high unemployment rates.  Greece should try investing more in new companies so the unemployed youth can have a chance in finding a job in the future.

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Greek tourism

Tourism is one of the foundations of the Greek economy. It forms almost 20% of the country’s economic output – the largest share. But despite individual success stories, tourism has been badly affected. Behind the fall, is a toxic combination of financial hardship abroad and Greece’s own financial – and now political – crisis. The country has been stunned by months of anti-austerity demonstrations. Hostility towards Germany has grown since Greeks have been badly affected by a German government that has pushed Greek austerity measures.  Besides, the inconclusive elections raised fresh questions about Greece’s continuing membership of the Euro. Europeans are concerned that Greece will exit euro and will go back to ’emergency drachma’ that will be worth only about 10% of the euro’s value. That makes tourists speculate about their vacations in Greece.

Furthermore, the Greek government was forced to cut salaries and benefits of employees in the state and private sector in an effort to improve its financial balances. That caused people to revolt in order to protect their own rights and benefits. This brought strikes and sporadic riots in central Athens. While these actions were fully understood, they often resulted in inconveniences for travelers.

It is important to mention that Greek tourism covers 51.2% of the trade deficit, employs one in five inhabitants of the country, contributes 16.4 gross domestic product and creates 34-billion aggregate demand in the economy.(SETE)

The contribution of tourism in Greek economy for the year 2012 was large. Greece’s GDP reached 16.4%, while total employment in the tourism department (688,800 jobs) corresponds to 18.3% of the workforce.
 
Globally compared, according to the latest figures of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Greece in 2012 was 17th in international arrivals and 23rd in terms of revenues. Also, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2013, Greece occupies the 32nd position among 140 countries in the Index Travel and Tourism Competitiveness, while in the Global Competitiveness Index occupies the 96th possition.

These figures show that Greek tourism is one of the few sectors of the national economy, which is globally competitive.

Greek tourism enterprises (SETE) have announced a 10% rise in international tourist arrivals at airports for the first half of 2013.

“The Bank of Greece in turn announced that in the year running up to May 2013, tourism revenue had soared 38.5 percent and foreign arrivals 24 percent” states FoxNews.

It is also important to mention that tourism revenue grew 15% between January and May.

Head of SETE Andreas Andreadis said that improved political stability compared to 2012, a drop in prices caused by the economic crisis as well as the cancellation of holidays to Turkey and Tunisia, all contributed to the recovery.

That means only one thing. Greeks need to focus on the things that can provide them revenue, stabilizing their prices and offering good quality and services.

Greece is an amazing and wonderful country.

You should give Greeks a chance to prove it to you..

References

FoxNews: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/28/tourism-picks-up-in-greece-but-without-greeks/#ixzz2dU60lFYB

SETE: http://sete.gr/_fileuploads/entries/Statistics/Greece/International%20Tourist%20Arrivals%20%28Non-Residents%29/catID4/GR/130807_JULY_2013_12%28billingual%20version%29_new.pdf

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Youth unemployment – Greece – asking Greeks about it

Today, the majority of people are facing many economic and social problems due to the financial crisis in Greece. Nowadays, the economic aspect is getting worse that can be seen in every part of life and especially in the youth of the country. To be more specific, if we observe the youth, we can easily figure out that the majority of it is facing many survival problems due to the crisis. Unemployment of the youth is a major concern of the political and social field of Greece but it is also a great area and field of research.

Young people in Greece are not able anymore to experience the life that they used to. They are seriously considering leaving Greece in order to seek employment elsewhere so that they can experience a better life and career. The young people are the fundamental basis of any country and society. If the majority of the youth is going abroad to find a better life, that means that Greece will lose its identity and its very own basis.

BBC states that “Greece’s unemployment rate hit another record high in May 2013 of 27.6%, according to the country’s statistics body.

The figure, from the Hellenic Statistics Authority, compares with a jobless rate of 23.8% in May last year.

Among those in the labour market aged 15-24, the rate is 64.9%, as Greece sees its sixth year of recession.

Greece has seen a 25% drop in output since 2007.”

The results were pretty much expected since we live in Greece at the present financial crisis. We all experience some problems and in many cases the same ones. 

Youth unemployment is one of the major issues of our times. Economists and academics have convincing arguments emphasizing that there is a certain natural level of unemployment. However, elevated unemployment especially of youth unemployment imposes significant costs on the individual, the society and the country.

The unemployment rate will keep on rising in the future. To be more specific, the unemployment rate for high school drop outs is more than double the rate of university graduates. People that enter the labour market without any extra training or post-secondary education have a tremendous chance of being unemployed. Companies are hiring the most skilled and experienced workers, letting go workers with less experience, usually youth. It must be said that youth with the least amount of experience are usually the last people that are hired.

There are various reasons which may cause one to be unemployed and these include:

·         high illiteracy levels,

·         changes in seasons of production,

·         having disabilities which may hinder one from doing a certain kind of job,

·         political instability in a country,

·         gender inequalities in certain jobs as well as

·         poor educational systems

That’s not only it. People sometimes are being too choosy when selecting a job.  Unemployment is boosted due to population explosion, increase of number of educated people and moreover the failure of the industry to expand along with the population increase. Furthermore, unemployment grows because the employers do not want inexperienced workers and also due to the transition period from education to the work force.

A reporter form Telegraph states that “the unemployment rate among Spain’s under-25s rose to 50.5pc in January 2012, and to 50.4pc in Greece in December, according to the latest available data from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office. It compared with an average eurozone youth unemployment rate of 21.6pc. One of the lowest rates of youth unemployment is in Germany, where it remained at 8.2pc in February 2012.”

For 2013 The Guardian suggests that “youth unemployment in Spain has reached a new high of 56.1%, a quarter of the 3.5 million under-25s jobless across the eurozone, according to the latest Eurostat figures.

The number of young Spaniards belonging to what has become known as the lost generation is up 2% since June to 883,000. Only Greece has a higher percentage of young people out of work, at 62.9%.”

      In conclusion, unemployment affects not just the person himself but also his/her family and in the long run the society that he lives in. Unemployment brings with it despair, unhappiness and anguish. It forces people to live their lives in a way they do not wish to and their life expectancy is negatively affected. The main aspects of it are mental health, lack of self-confidence, feeling unworthy, depression and hopelessness. It also brings tension at home, loss of trust in administration and the government which may lead to political instability. It also brings up discontent and frustration amongst the tax paying citizens. In order to meet the demands of the unemployment fund the government many times may have to increase the taxes thus giving way to restlessness amongst the tax paying citizens.

Additionally it brings insecurity amongst employees, crime and violence, decrease in social outings and interactions with other people, including friends and stigma. To further complicate the situation the longer the individual is out of job the more difficult it becomes to find one. Employers find employment gaps as a negative aspect. No one wants to hire a person who has been out of work for some time even when there’s no fault of the individual per say. There is also the loss of skills’ usage issue. The unemployed is not able to put his/her skills to use so in the long term they lose them.

ASKING GREEKS ABOUT IT

During a financial crisis, young people are mostly affected since they feel the pressure of reality in their everyday lives.

       The majority of the answers gathered based on the youth unemployment issue, tended to criticize the government’s measures and the greek political system which led the country to the present financial and economic crisis. There is a belief that the government does nothing in order to change the climate which has been created and does not help to improve the current situation. Besides, the Greek educational system has played a major role to youth unemployment.  In addition, the unstable political and financial environment has affected the youth in a negative way because most Young people consider seeking employment outside Greece.

References

 BBC:Greek unemployment rate hit record high in May http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23620444

The Telegraph: Youth unemployment passes 50pc in Spain and Greece http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis /9181776/Youth-unemployment-passes-50pc-in-Spain-and-Greece.html

The Guardian: Spain youth unemployment reaches record 56.1%

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/30/spain-youth-unemployment-record-high

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