Jobless numbers increase 39% in August

  • Lusa
  • 23 September 2020

According to monthly Social Security statistic, the number of job seekers with unemployment benefits in Portugal rose by 39% in August to 224,568.

The number of job seekers with unemployment benefits in Portugal rose by 39% in August to 224,568, according to monthly Social Security statistics that show a doubling of the initial unemployment benefit recipients.

“224,568 unemployment benefits were processed in August 2020, showing increases of 1.3% compared to the previous month and 39% up on August 2019,” said the information released on Tuesday by Social Security, indicating that the initial unemployment social benefit covered 10,881 beneficiaries, a figure that translates into a monthly decrease of 0.1%, but almost twice the number seen in August last year.

The initial unemployment social benefit is a benefit granted to those who lose their jobs but do not meet the conditions for receiving unemployment benefit.

Under the Covid-19 measures, the period of guaranteed access to initial unemployment social benefit was halved (90 days instead of 180 days). The period was reduced to 60 days in cases where unemployment occurred due to expiry of the fixed-term employment contract or termination of the employment contract at the initiative of the employer during the trial period.

The number of beneficiaries of unemployment benefit was 193,313 in August, reflecting a monthly increase of 0.6% and an increase of 43.2% compared to 134,955 registered one year earlier.

The beneficiaries of the subsequent unemployment benefit (granted to those who exhausted their unemployment benefit) totalled 19,606, representing an increase of 10.9% concerning July and a decrease of 2.3% over the same period.

Despite the monthly increase, the total number of recipients of unemployment benefits registered in August is lower than the 225,353 registered in May, which was the month with the highest numbers since the beginning of the year and especially since the impact of the pandemic began to be felt in the labour market.

The data also shows that, compared to August 2019, there are still increases in benefits processed in all age groups, with the youngest standing out, with the group of 24 or younger rising 153.6%; while between 25 and 34 years of age it rose 82.8%.

In the age groups between 35 and 44 years old and between 45 and 54 years old, there were, in turn, year-on-year increases of 40.6% and 29.7%, respectively.

The extraordinary measure to support the long-term unemployed, which began to be processed in July 2016, reached 1,413 beneficiaries, slightly below the 1,444 registered in the previous month.

According to monthly statistics, the average value of unemployment benefits was €501.33 in August, slightly lower than the €502.46 in July and the €504.83 registered in the same month of the previous year.