U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 34 mins

Greek unemployment hits new high, at 26.8 percent

Blind protesters hold up a banner during a rally in central Athens on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Blind groups marched to the office of conservative Prime Minister Antonis to protest ongoing health care benefit cuts in the bailed out country. Debt inspectors from the EU and IMF returned to Athens this week to monitor the country's painful austerity program. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Unemployment in recession-mired Greece continued its record-setting rise in March, reaching 26.8 percent of the workforce compared to a revised 26.7 percent a month earlier.

Figures provided by the country's national statistical authority Thursday set the total number of unemployed in March at 1.3 million.

In March 2008, just before Greece's finances imploded, forcing the country to accept international bailouts in return for harsh austerity measures, just 390,000 people were jobless.

The monthly statistical data are adjusted to remove seasonal factors, such as the spike in employment during the summer tourist season that would otherwise obscure underlying trends.

Youth unemployment remained extremely high, despite indications that the figures are beginning to stabilize. Some 58.3 percent of the 15-24 age group were jobless in March, compared to 63.8 in February.