Unemployment: Portugal’s woes deepen; 950,000 without jobs

The country’s unemployment figures have risen even further, with the number of jobless surpassing 950,000.

Economy What's New — 09 May 2013 by Marina Watson Peláez
Unemployment: Portugal’s woes deepen; 950,000 without jobs

Portugal’s woes deepened after figures released this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) revealed that unemployment has risen even further as the country’s recession deepens.

Unemployment hit 17.7% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 16.9% in the previous quarter, with the number of jobless surpassing 950,000.

Last week, Prime Minister Passos Coelho announced the government plans to cut 30,000 jobs in the public sector and to raise the retirement age by one year to 66. He also said the government would raise the number of working hours a week in the public sector to 40 from 35.

These measures are part of the government’s plan to carry out further cuts of €4.8bn over the next three years to meet the terms of the €78bn bailout granted by the so-called troika of international lenders – European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Passos Coelho insists the country needs to continue the austerity drive to avoid another bailout and the government predicts unemployment will reach 18.5% next year.

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