Portugal: Unemployment rate jumps 45.1% in Q3

  • ECO News
  • 4 November 2020

The unemployed population skyrocketed 45.1% between July and September compared to the previous quarter. There are 125,700 more people looking for work.

Portugal’s unemployment rate rose 45.1% between July and September, compared to the second quarter of the year. It is the biggest jump since at least 2011 and corresponds to an additional 125.7 thousand people looking for work. According to data released on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in the third quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate reached 7.8%.

“The unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, up 2.2 percentage points (pp) from the previous quarter and up 1.7 pp from a year earlier. The unemployed population, estimated at 404.1 thousand people, has increased by 45.1% (125.7 thousand) from the previous quarter, which corresponds to the highest quarterly rate of change of the data series started in 2011, and by 24.9% (80.7 thousand) from the 3rd quarter of 2019,” is detailed in the statistical note published on Wednesday.

The labour underutilisation also increased to 813,700 Portuguese, 8.7% more than in the previous quarter and 21.9% more in homologous terms. “The increase in the labour underutilisation was mainly explained by the increase in unemployment,” says INE.

In the third quarter of 2020 – a period marked by the country’s lockdown and the facilitation of active demand for work – the inactive population fell 4.8%. However, in homologous terms, there was an increase of 3%. “The transition from inactivity to unemployment reflected the easing of mobility and social contact restrictions existent in the 2nd quarter due to the pandemic, allowing for a greater easiness in active labour search and availability to work, two criteria whose compliance is needed to be classified as unemployed,” explains the National Institute of Statistics.

As for the employed population, a 1.5% increase was registered compared to the previous quarter. When compared to the same period in 2019, there was a 3% decrease.