sexta-feira, 25 de outubro de 2013

The Labour Market in Portugal

1.1 Short overview of the Portuguese labor marked.  
In 2011 Portugal, had  a population of 10 561 641, of which 47,94 % were men and 52,1% women. 
In November 2011, the unemployment rate was  13,2 % . Unemployment is higher among women ( 13,5%) and especially among young people aged 15 to 24 ( 30, 7%). Youth unemployment is a very serious problem. It has become much worse in the recent years. 
Nevertheless, Portuguese activity rate, 76,9 %,  is higher than the EU -27 average. In addition,  the participation of women in the labour market  amounts to 82,2%, which is quite high compared to the EU average of 70,3%. 
5834200 people were registered unemployed in November 2011, of which 46% women and 54% men. 42,5% were unemployed for more than one year. Around 6,3 % of the registered unemployed were Portuguese nationals with a foreign origin. 4677 of them were citizens of the EU, particularly from Romania, Bulgaria and Spain. 5953 of them were from other eastern European countries, like the Ukraine or Moldova. More than 13000 unemployed came from Portuguese speaking countries, especially from Brazil or Cape Verde. 
The sectorial analysis in 2011 revealed that the tertiary sector (the service industries), which involves tourism, catering services, social economy, fulfils the most important role and it continues to get more and more importance. In 2011, it represented 62,8%, while the primary sector, like agriculture, forestry and fishery,  amounted to only 9,8% . The secondary sector reached after all 27,4 %.  The tertiary sector wholesaling and retailing, captures a rate of 14,6%,  while the hotel and catering sector reached only  6,6%.
The driving force of the economy and the labour market in Portugal remains tourism. Various types of tourism are offered and they have diversified considerably. The country offers “sun and sand“ tourism, the organization of events, adventure and nature tourism, rural tourism and much more. 
Furthermore, public services, namely, public administration, Social security, education,  continue to represent a significant part of existing jobs (21,4%) . Despite the severe crisis which affected the building and public works sector, it still reaches 9,1 % of employment. Due to the upcoming cut in investments in public work, this sector will high likely continue to shrink. 
The manufacturing industry is not one of the most dynamic sectors of the Portuguese economy, but some industrial sub-sectors are significant in terms of employment and also in terms of their contribution to the creation of wealth in the country, because they are export oriented.

1.2  Unemployment in Portugal compared to other countries
Recently unemployment has become a severe problem in Portugal. The unemployment rate has reached the third highest rate in the euro zone. Only Greece and Spain are in a worse situation, with unemployment rate of over 26% for both countries. 
The unemployment rate in the entire eurozone amounts to 11,8% and it slightly rose to 11,9%, while in Portugal the unemployment rate rose to 17, 6%.  Austria (4,9%) , Germany  and Luxembourg (both, 5,3%)  have the lowest unemployment rates. 
Unemployment rose in the majority of the European union member states (namely in 19), it decreased is seven countries and remained unchanged in Denmark. There are approximately 26 million unemployed citizens in the European Union.
Portugal has been in a recession for almost three years. Youth unemployment is currently a great problem in Portugal. The unemployment rate among young people under 25 years is at 36,8%. By way of comparison, it was 37,8% last month and 40,1% last year.  At the very least, this is an improvement. A lot of graduates are unable to find a job. 
In Greece the situation is worse. The unemployment rate among youth is with 60%, considerably higher than in Portugal. Unemployment rate in Greece almost tripled since the debt crisis in 2009 and it was more than twice as high as the eurozones average of 12,1% . The overall unemployment in Greece recently rose to 27%  and inoccupation among people aged 15 to 24 increased till 64,2%, in February . Greece economy has been in a recession for six years and it is expected to shrink again this year, about 4,2% to 4,6%   
In Spain the situation is not much better. The youth unemployment reached a new peak of 56,1%, that is a quarter of the under 25 years old unemployed  people in the whole eurozone. Considering adult male people, Spain has the highest unemployment rate, with 25,3%, which is even higher than in Greece. In Italy, the unemployment rate slightly fell to 12% . The lowest rates can be found in Austria (4,8%), Germany (5,3%) and Luxembourg (5,7%). The rate in the U.S is 7,4% and in Japan just 3,8%. 
In Portugal the situation is slowly getting better. The unemployment rate shrank from 17,7 to 16,4%. Portuguese officials hope that the latest data will be at least enough to convince investors.

 Monika Sainovici

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho] 

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