Rejuvenating Greece’s labour market to generate more and higher-quality jobs | en

Greece’s labour market entered the COVID-19 shock following several years of sustained
employment growth and with wages picking up. Unemployment remained high and employment
rates were low, especially among women, the young and older workers. The shock led
to a sharp fall in labour force activity and has stalled new hiring. The improved
social protection and temporary support measures have helped to support households’
incomes and protect jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. However, high tax and social
security contribution rates, together with little in-work support for the low-paid,
continue abetting high structural informality. This heightens insecurity – by excluding
many workers from activation policies or social and employment protection – and weakens
productivity. Boosting the capacity of employment services and activation policies
would support the recovery from the COVID-19 shock, in addition to durably improving
employment prospects especially of long-term unemployed. Giving workplaces further
flexibility to adapt collective agreements to specific circumstances would help align
wage growth with productivity developments and help businesses to weather the COVID-19
shock. Building on the population’s solid education levels by equipping workers with
the skills needed by the labour market can support employment and incomes. This will
require a substantial boost to professional education and training at all levels and
ages. This chapter applies the 2018 OECD Jobs Strategy to Greece to identify reforms
that can help to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and create a virtuous cycle between
productivity, job creation, and well-being.

Available from October 08, 2020

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