Economic IndicatorsTop News

Portugal’s unemployment soars 9% in March, Algarve worst hit

imageEconomic Indicators9 hours ago (Apr 20, 2020 10:35AM ET)

By Catarina Demony

LISBON (Reuters) – Unemployment in Portugal rose almost 9% in March from the previous month, official data showed, as lockdown measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic brought key economic sectors to a halt.

In the southern Algarve region, usually packed with tourists but now deserted due to the outbreak, the number of people registered as unemployed soared 41% in March compared to the same period last year, according to new data released by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training on Monday.

Portugal has reported 20,863 coronavirus cases, with 735 deaths – a much smaller toll than in neighbouring Spain where more than 20,000 have now died of COVID-19.

Around 71% worked in the services sector, including in restaurants and retail stores, which have been largely shut since Portugal declared a state of emergency on March 18, since renewed until May 2.

According to the new data, 28,000 people in Portugal registered as unemployed in March, bringing the total of those registered without jobs to around 343,000. Year-on-year, unemployment rose 3% in March, the data showed.

The rate had been falling for several years as Portugal slowly recovered from a severe debt crisis. In 2008, during the economic recession, around 391,000 people were registered as unemployed.

The unemployment rate, currently at 6.5%, is expected to more than double to 13.9% this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Labour Minister Ana Mendes Godinho said on Monday that most companies have taken the government up on a short-term work subsidy scheme which allows them to suspend jobs or reduce working hours instead of firing workers.

“We are trying to ensure that even during a very difficult period in which companies are out of business, jobs are maintained,” Godinho said.

One million people have been temporarily laid off under the scheme, she said.

Other government measures to bolster the finances of businesses during the outbreak include credit lines for hard-hit industries like tourism, textiles and agriculture.

“Our predictions point to a recovery around Easter of next year, and even then, it will be slow,” Eliderico Viegas. President of Algarve’s AHETA hotel association told RTP television.

“Loans that have to be paid back, with interest rates higher than what we faced before the crisis, are just not enough,” Viegas added.

Portugal’s unemployment soars 9% in March, Algarve worst hit

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close
Close

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!