The Case of high unemployment among young post-secondary graduates in Greece and the context of the Greek fiscal crisis




Anastasiadis, Katerina

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This research focuses on an issue that has persisted in Greece over recent decades – long-term youth unemployment. The issue has worsened in the last few years, however, in particular following unprecedented historical times caused by a worldwide economic recession that hit Greece particularly hard. This recession that was triggered by events in the United States in 2008, set off a worldwide recession, the effects of which continue to affect countries like Greece today. It is in this context that the post-secondary graduate unemployment rate in the country soared to 20% in 2010 and has since continued to follow an upward trend. What is more, the Greek economy, with debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio reaching more than 140% in 2010 and 165% in 2011, is not showing signs of improvement. This situation is far from encouraging for unemployed Greek youth. Grounded theory (GT) methodology is undertaken in this study which borrows from both Glaserian and Straussian GT method approaches. A Constructivist Grounded Theory perspective is used to interpret findings as the thesis analyses barriers to employment, understandings and coping mechanisms in relation to Greek graduate unemployment and identifies prospects for the future. Six participants were recruited through convenience sampling and informed research through in depth interviews. Unemployed post-secondary graduates interviewed in this study offered uniquely grounded data to inform my analysis and shared timely information amidst the challenging context of the Greek fiscal crisis. The situation has gained much international attention and opened the door for re-thinking and new possibilities. Given that the economic situation in the Eurozone is inextricably linked to the conditions in its member states, this study considers employment policy in both Greece and the European Union (EU). The thesis concludes by suggesting some potential areas for further research.



Post-secondary graduate unemployment in Greece, Grounded Theory, Greek Unemployment, European Union, Employment Policy, European Employment Strategy and Open Method of Coordination, Greek Welfare State, Greek post-secondary education system and youth labour market context