Greek unemployment rate hit record high in May

Unemployed Athens resident: "I'm looking in the bin to find something to eat"

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Greece's unemployment rate hit another record high in May 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.

The news emerged ahead of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

At the meeting, Mr Obama commended the Greek government for taking steps to reduce its debt pile.

But he urged Mr Samaras to balance austerity with measures to promote growth and boost jobs.

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

Public anger

It has been the worst affected of eurozone economies and was the first to receive an international bailout in May 2010.

The country was given another 6.8bn euros last month from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank.

The money has strict conditions attached which demand that government debt levels are reduced.

That has meant deep job cuts, tax increases, and reductions in wages and pensions.

However, more austerity measures are being demanded.

At the time the latest loan money was secured, the IMF said that Greece must deliver "rapidly on structural reforms to unlock growth and create jobs".

The government's actions so far have prompted widespread public anger and protests, which have sometimes turned to violence.

Last week, figures from the official eurozone statistics agency reported that Greece's unemployment rate was 26.9% in June, compared with a eurozone-wide figure of 12.1%.

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