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Greece jobless rate up to 26 percent

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's unemployment rate rose to 26 percent in September, as the country heads toward a sixth year of recession.

The Greek Statistical Authority announced Thursday that 1.295 million people were recorded as being unemployed in September — pushing up the jobless rate up from 25.3 the previous month and 18.9 percent a year earlier.

The number of people employed stood at 3,695,053 while another 3,373,692 were listed as financially inactive, according to a statement with September data.

Greek unemployment has surged as a result of harsh austerity measures imposed in return for international rescue loans. The Bank of Greece forecast this week that the country's gross domestic product would contract by more than 6 percent this year, and by a further 4-4.5 percent next year.