Greek unemployment rate hits 27.6% in July

Oct 10, 2013, 5:35 AM EDT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's unemployment rate is continuing to climb, reaching 27.6 percent in July compared with a revised 27.5 percent a month earlier.

The national statistical authority said Thursday that 1.36 million people were without a job in July, up ten percent from a year earlier.

The conservative-led government expects modest jobs growth next year. But even then, it forecasts unemployment to remain high, at an average 26 percent compared with 27 percent for this year.

The biggest labor union, the GSEE, has painted a much darker picture and expects unemployment to exceed 30 percent in coming years.

The government also predicts that the economy will start to grow again next year — the first average annual growth since 2007 — albeit at an anemic 0.6 percent.