Unemployment rate falls to 8.8%, a minimum since 2009

  • ECO News
  • 9 August 2017

Unemployment rate falls to 8.8% in the second quarter of 2017. In just three months, 102.3 thousand job positions have been created.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.8% in the second quarter of 2017, stated Statistics Portugal (INE) this Wednesday. This number equal the first quarter of 2009 and derives from an expressive job creation between April and June: in just three months, over 100 thousand job positions have been created in net terms.

In the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate stood at 10.1%. Since then, INE has been reporting smaller percentages each month, which already indicated an improvement in the quarterly rate. Yet, no estimate had placed the unemployment rate below the 9% threshold. For example, June’s preliminary number pointed to a 9% percentage.

Unemployment rate since 2009

Source: INE

This percentage was, therefore, surprisingly positive. In an homologous comparison, that is to say, comparing the second quarter of 2017 with the same quarter of 2016, the unemployment rate decreased two percentage points. There are 97.9 thousand less unemployed and an additional 157.9 thousand new job positions, in net terms.

INE’s data also show that this improvement in unemployment was achieved while the active population increased. This means that those who participate in the labor market — that is, those who want to work — grew, both in a quarterly and homologous comparison. From one quarter to the other, active population had a 0.8% increase and it had a 1.2% homologous increase. The analysis also shows that this decrease was achieved almost exclusively because of job creation.

In addition, over the last three months, 25.6% of those who were unemployed have a job. The same is to say that around one in four people who were searching for a job were able to find one.

The unemployment rate decreased in almost every Portuguese region (except for the Azores), but the Algarve, a highly attractive area for tourists in the Summer time, had the most expressive decrease: it went from 10.6% in the first quarter to 7.6% this quarter. The Center region of Portugal has the smallest unemployment rate (7%), while Madeira continues to be the highest (11%). In the Lisbon metropolitan area, the unemployment rate was 9.4%, above the Portuguese average.

Among the youth (15 to 24 year-olds), the unemployment rate also decreased: it was 22.7% in the second quarter of 2017, below the 25.1% of the first three months of this year and the 26.9% from the second quarter of 2016.