In the first month of the year, the unemployment rate rose to 7.2%, according to data released this Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The unemployment rate rose to 7.2% in January, according to data released on Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This is an increase of 0.4 percentage points (p.p.) in relation to the previous month and the same period the previous year. In January, the labour underutilisation rate also grew, mainly due to the increase in the unemployed population.
According to the statement published by INE, in the first month of the year, the employed population fell 1.7% compared to December and dropped 3.5% compared to January 2020. On the other hand, the unemployed population increased by 4.2% compared to the previous month and rose 2.7% year-on-year. All in all, the unemployment rate began 2021 jumping to 7.2%, 0.4 p.p. more than in the previous month and 0.4 p.p. more than in the same month of 2020.
January was also marked by a worsening of labour underutilisation. The rate stood at 14.2%, 0.5 p.p. more than in the previous month and 1.7 p.p. more than a year earlier. “The monthly increase of the labour underutilisation rate in this month was mainly due to the increase of the unemployed population (4.2% more),” INE explains.
It should be noted that this year began with a new lockdown imposed in Portugal, which caused the closure of several sectors of activity, a factor that helps explain the evolution of unemployment reported by INE.