Unemployment has increased in Greece according to the latest statistics released by the Greek National Statisrical Service (ESYE) last week.

The unemployment rate in May 2009 stood at 8.5 percent in Greece in comparison to 6.6 percent in May 2008.

420,401 people were unemployed in comparison to 324,777 in the corresponding month last year.

Young people aged 15-24 years were the worst hit with t 25 percent unemployed in May 2009 in comparison to 18.6 percent in May 2008.

Unemployment in the 25-34 age bracket stood at 11.2 percent in May against 9.9 percent in May 2008; at 6.8 percent in the 35-44 age bracket in May 2009 against 5.1 percent in May 2008; at 5.3 percent for the the 45-54 age bracket against 3.4 percent in May 2008; , 4.0 percent in the 55-64 age bracket against (2.7 percent in May 2008).

Women have suffered the brunt of unemployment with unemployment among women running at 11.5 percent compared to 6.3 percent among men.

An analysis of the date by region reveals that the largest unemployment rates in May 2009 were recorded in central Greece at 11.7 percent, eastern Macedonia-Thrace at 10.3 percent), and central Macedonia at 10 percent.

The lowest unemployment rates were in the Ionian Islands at 5.7 percent and Crete at 6 percent).

The number of employed in Greece fell by 41 328 over the 12 month period May 2008 – 2009, from 4,612,670 in May 2008 to 4,553,998 in May 2009.