Employers' group: Each person active in Greece's private sector supports 2.8 either not employed or in public sector

Friday, 15 September 2017 23:38
UPD:16/09/2017 16:07

Greece's largest employers' federation this week released figures showing that the ratio between the non-active (homemakers, juveniles, the elderly, unemployed people) and active population in the Greece is two to one.

Moreover, every person employed in Greece's private sector contributes income and taxes supporting 2.8 people, who either are not employed or employed in the public sector.

 The figures were released in the weekly bulletin published by the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), which represents the biggest companies in the country.

The group's most recent bulletin details the twin trends of a decreasing and aging population in Greece, as well as the repercussions that these developments will have on the social security system.

Specifically, of the country's official population of 10.8 million today, roughly 806,000 work in the public sector; wage-earners are approximately 1.6 million, while self-employed professionals, including farmers, reach 1.3 million. Pensioners, on the other hand, total 2.6 million, with another 150,000 applications for retirement benefits pending. The category "pensioners", in this case, includes retirees, widows or widowers issued bereavement pensions, as well as people receiving permanent disability benefits.

SEV's figures forecast a population in Greece of nine million in 2050, where one in three will be over the age of 65; 300,000 over the age of 90. 

SEV's figures echo previous and well-documented actuarial studies of Greece's social security system, whereby in 2050 one employed person will equal one pensioner.

To deflect the catastrophic scenario for the social security system, SEV proposes a greater participation of women and young people in the workforce, incentives and growth-oriented policies in order to achieve a reverse "brain drain", i.e. the repatriation of high-skilled individuals that emigrated, and even the recruitment of high-skilled (legal) immigrants.

SEV also called for measures to support families, in order to boost the birth rate, along with an abolition of a law that deduct benefits of retirees that continue to work.

The bulletin was released on the same day as figures showed that unemployment in the country eased to 21.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017, down two percentage points from Q2 2016.