Athens - Greece's unemployment rate slipped to 27.3 percent in April from 27.5 percent a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday amid expectations of economic recovery helped by a strong tourism season.

The Elstat state statistics agency said however that the number of unemployed people had increased by over 36,000 people in a year, and over 3,600 in a month, to more than 1.3 million.

The jobless rate in March was 27.3 percent, the agency said.

Unemployment stands at 56.3 percent among the young and 30.7 percent among women.

Greece hopes to exit a painful six-year recession this year with economic confidence improving after four years of austerity reforms.

The country registered a primary surplus last year, and in April made its first medium-term bond sale since the start of the Greek crisis in 2010.

Strong tourism traffic is expected to further help the recovery.

The association of Greek tourism enterprises, a prominent sector group, on Wednesday said international airport arrivals had increased by 17 percent or 760,000 people in the first semester.

Greece is aiming to exceed 20 million tourist arrivals this year. - Sapa-AFP