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Record drop in jobless in Portugal

Staff Writer | April 22, 2017
By the end of March, the number of people who were still actively seeking jobs in Portugal had dropped to 471,474, for what was the biggest year-on-year drop since records first began.
Portugal jobless
Europe   The 18 percent reduction in March
The 18 percent reduction in March had been preceded by a 15.3 percent cut in unemployment in February, with expectations that new records will continue to be set as job opportunities increase with the impending peak tourist season nearing fast.

In the space of just 30 days, there were 16,155 fewer people gathering at IEFP job centres, with an average of more than 700 people finding employment every working day.

More men found jobs, with a reduction in male unemployment of just under 20 percent, while 16.3 percent, women found jobs in March.

The jobless rate among young people also fell considerably the past year (down 24.2 percent), while long-term unemployed workers dropped 16.1 percent to 233,200 people.

Northern Portugal, which is known for jobs created in industries, also saw unemployment fall to pre-crisis levels, as those jobless fell to below the 200,000 mark for the first time since 2009.

The Algarve, meanwhile, enjoyed the largest month-on-month drop in unemployment. With the obvious influence of the tourism industry, the number of people on benefits dropped by 17 percent from February to March.

Following this positive data, the Government has said it is looking to achieve an employment rate of 75 percent by 2020 for workers aged 20 to 64.

The rate of employment for this age group had fallen to 65.4 percent at the peak of the economic crisis in 2013, but had risen to 70.6 percent by the end of last year.