Lowest December unemployment figures for 30 years

  • Lusa
  • 23 January 2023

The 307,005 unemployed registered with the employment services of the mainland and the Autonomous Regions in December 2022 represented 65.6% of a total of 468,064 job applications.

The number of unemployed people registered at job centres fell 11.8% year-on-year in December to 307,005, the lowest figure for this month in the last 30 years, Portugal’s ministry of labour, solidarity and social security highlighted on Monday.

When compared with December 2019, the pre-pandemic period, the reduction was 1.1% (-3,477 people). In the consecutive months of November and December 2022, there were 10,282 more unemployed people (+3.5%), said the ministry based on figures from the institute of employment and vocational training (IEFP).

“The year 2022 was, overall, the best year in terms of registered unemployment, having marked, since March 2022, systematically lower figures than the corresponding figures for 2019,” the ministry points out.

It adds, “in registered youth unemployment, 2022 was also, in general, the best year, with figures systematically lower than the year-on-year figures of 2019, except in the months of January and June.”

According to the IEFP, the 307,005 unemployed registered with the employment services of the mainland and the Autonomous Regions in December 2022 represented 65.6% of a total of 468,064 job applications.

Over the last month of 2022, 44,019 unemployed people were registered in the employment services across the country, a higher number than in the same month of 2021 (+4,545; +11.5%) and lower compared to November (-10,329; -19.0%).

According to the institute, ” for the decrease in unemployment recorded, in comparison to the same month of 2021, in absolute terms, the groups of individuals aged 25 years or more (-37,223), those seeking new employment (-37,976) and those registered for 12 months or more (-49,351) contributed in particular”.

As for youth unemployment (people under 25 years of age), and according to the ministry, “in December 2022 it was the lowest, in that month, since records began, a consecutive decrease of -1.6% (-540 young people) and a decrease of -10.3% compared to December 2021 (-3,731 young people)”.

Thus, in December there were 32,426 young people who were unemployed, 0.5% below the December 2019 figure (-154 young people), with youth unemployment representing 10.6% of registered unemployment, which compares with 11.0% registered in the same month of 2021.

At the regional level, in the month of December, registered unemployment in the country, in year-on-year terms, decreased in all regions, with emphasis on the autonomous region of Madeira (-31.0%) and the region of Lisbon and Tagus Valley (-14.8%).

In relation to the previous month, almost all the regions (except Madeira,-0.3%) recorded increases in unemployment, with the largest variation in the Algarve region (+22.0%).

At the sectoral level, year-on-year decreases were recorded in all economic activities, with the most significant variations occurring, in descending order, in the ‘leather and leather products industry’ (-23.1%), ‘manufacture of petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastics’ (-20.0%) and ‘paper, printing and reproduction industries’ (-18.9%).

In December, 121,723 unemployed people had been in this situation for over a year (long-term unemployment), up 0.3% on November 2022 (+321 people), but below (-2.6%) the level observed in the same month of 2019 (-3,252 people) and December 2021 (-28.8%; -49,351).

Those registered less than a year ago, on the other hand, totalled 185,282, with month-on-month increases of 5.7% (+9,961) and year-on-year increases of 4.7% (+8,397).

The most representative occupational groups of the unemployed registered in mainland Portugal in December were ‘unskilled workers’ (27.0%), ‘workers in personal services, security protection and sales workers’ (20.4%), ‘administrative staff’ (11.4%) and ‘specialists in intellectual and scientific activities’ (10.4%).

As for unmet job offers, at the end of December 2022 they totalled 11,431, in employment services across the country, a number that corresponds to a year-on-year decrease (-4,510; -28.3%) and compared to the previous month (-4,503; -28.3%) of offers on file.

Job offers received in December totalled 6,786 in the whole country, which is 2,284 less than the number received in the same month of 2021 (-25.2%) and 1,975 less than the previous month (-22.5%).

The economic activities with the greatest expression in the job offers received during this month (in this case, the IEFP only considers data relating to the mainland) were ‘real estate, administrative and support services’ (15.7%), ‘wholesale and retail trade’ (15.4%) and ‘public administration, education, health activities and social support’ (11.5%).

The placements carried out during the month of December totalled 5,506 in the whole country, a number inferior to that verified in the same period of 2021 (-764; -12.2%) and to the previous month (-886; -13.9%).

The analysis of the placements made, by groups of occupations (data for mainland Portugal), shows a higher concentration in ‘workers in personal services, protection and security and sales workers’ (21.2%), in ‘unskilled workers’ (20.7%), and in ‘specialists in intellectual and scientific activities’ (12.9%).