By Stefanos Evripidou
THE NUMBER of unemployed people in the first quarter of 2013 reached 70,700, counting for 15.9 per cent of the workforce, said the Statistical Service on Friday.
According to a study undertaken by the service, unemployment among men in the first three months of the year reached 16.2 per cent, counting for 37,991 men, while among women the figure reached 15.4 per cent, representing 32,715 women.
The latest figures show a significant increase in unemployment among men and women in the crisis-stricken island compared to the previous quarter, with unemployment in the last quarter of 2012 recorded at 56,650, or 12.7 per cent of the working population (13.2 per cent among men and 12.2 per cent unemployment among the female workforce).
The latest jump in the number of jobless for men and women is even greater when compared to the first quarter a year ago, when unemployment registered at 11.1 per cent, counting for 48,166 people (12.2 per cent among men and 9.8 per cent among women).
The latest data released by the Statistical Service reveals that unemployment is highest among the 15-24 age group, reaching 37.5 per cent of the workforce (39.1 per cent among men and 35.8 per cent among women).
The age group covering school leavers and fresh graduates saw an increase in unemployment of 5.5 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2012, and a whopping 10.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The total size of the workforce in the first quarter of 2013 was calculated at 446,099 (234,063 men and 212,036 women), from which 375,392 people (196,071 men and 179,321 women) are currently employed. Women make up 47.8 per cent of the workforce in employment.
In terms of the kind of work on offer, the majority of workers are employed in the services sector (78.3 per cent), while 18.9 per cent are employed in the industry sector and a fraction, 2.8 per cent, in agriculture.
Compared to the same period last year, the share of workers in the services sector increased by 2.0 per cent while in industry and agriculture, these figures dropped by 1.8 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.
Part-time employment counted for 12.5 per cent of total employment, with 9.3 per cent of employed men working in part-time employment and 16.0 per cent of women.
From those in employment, 82.7 per cent, counting for 310,421 people, were earning a wage, of which 14.1 per cent were temporarily employed.
The average working hours a week for those in full employment was 41.3 hours (42.1 hours for men and 40.5 hours for women), while part-timers worked on average 20.2 hours a week (19.8 hours for men and 20.3 hours for women).
Meanwhile, according to preliminary estimations of the Statistical Service, the average gross monthly earnings of employees during the first quarter of 2013 amounted to €1,880 (males €2,031 and females €1,702).
The service did not clarify the difference in average wages between the public and private sector.