Portugal’s unemployment rate up 6.8% in 2020

A man runs near Tagus river during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s annual unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent in 2020, an increase of 0.3 percentage point compared to 2019, according to official data.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Statistics Portugal (INE) said that 350,900 people were out of work in 2020, 11,400 more than a year earlier, reports Xinhua news agency.

The unemployment rate was the highest, 22.6 percent, among young people aged 15 to 24 years, an increase of 4.3 percentage points year-on-year.

According to the INE, the figures were “influenced by the current situation determined by the Covid-19 pandemic” and “the behavioural changes resulting from the measures taken to safeguard public health”.

“Likewise, the (economic) measures adopted by the government in the context of the pandemic covered a large number of people who, even though they were in a layoff regime, were classified as employed because they continue to earn more than 50 percent of their usual salary,” the INE explained.

Meanwhile, Portugal has so far reported a total of 14,718 coronavirus deaths and 774,889 cases.

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