Advances in Management and Applied Economics

The Evolution of Agricultural Employment in Greece

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  • Abstract 

    Agriculture is considered one of the most important economic sectors in the European Union as it accounts for a large percentage (about 44%) of the EU budget, but also due to the fact that a large part of its population and areas are affected by agricultural activities. In Greece, the agricultural sector is the main district of the economy with an irreplaceable and crucial role as an important employer for a large workforce, thus ensuring social cohesion and regional development. Following Greece's accession to the EU, Greek agriculture is defined by the rules of European agriculture through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In general, the role of agriculture in Greece is proved by the fact that it occupies a large percentage of its land (about 30%) and employs 82% of rural population compared to 43% of urban population. Rural population in Greece is higher than that of the rest EU member states. The agricultural sector contributes to the country's GDP directly about 4% of the gross value added of the Greek economy and despite the problems it faces, it has demonstrated relative resilience to adverse economic conditions of recent years. In the present work, statistics concerning the agricultural employment in Greece are given and the main structural problems of Greek Agriculture are mentioned. In terms of agricultural employment, the absolute number of people has decreased significantly over time. The ratio employees in agricultural sector to the total number of employees decreased from 24% in 1989 to 15.2% in 2000 and 10.6% in 2017 but still remains significantly higher than the average of 4.4 % in 2017 in the European Union. Thus, in 2017 in Greece, 453,440 thousand people worked in agriculture. In connection with the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, especially in Greece, it was found that there is a lack of labor in the countryside and that the orientation of the economy should be directed to the agricultural sector to avoid possible food shortages and most importantly that this sector may lead to the stabilization of the Greek economy.

    Keywords: Agricultural holdings, People employed.