Portuguese economy destroyed 99,000 jobs in 2020 – Money

The employed population in Portugal decreased by 2%, on average, in the year 2020, according to data published this Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute. This is the sharpest reduction since 2013 and represents a decrease of 99 thousand jobs compared to the previous year.

precarious employment precariousness

precarious employment precariousness

“The employed population was estimated at 4814.1 thousand people and decreased 2.0% (99.0 thousand) in relation to the previous year”, reveals the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The quarterly data confirm that the sharpest fall occurred in the second quarter of the year, reflecting the impact of the beginning of the pandemic and the first confinement, when 134 thousand jobs disappeared compared to the previous quarter.

In the following two quarters there was some recovery, more pronounced in the third quarter (69 thousand jobs recovered) than in the fourth (60 thousand) although insufficient to restore the level of employment: in the last quarter of last year there were still 48 thousand fewer jobs than in the same period.


In the year as a whole, the unemployment rate stood at 6.8%, below the 8.7% forecast by the Government, but also with fluctuations marked by the pace of the pandemic and the first confinement, having stood at 7.1% at the end last year.

The unemployed population, which was estimated at 373.2 thousand people, decreased 7.7% (30.9 thousand) in relation to the previous quarter, having however increased by 20.8 thousand people (5.9%) compared to the previous period homologous.

INE stresses, however, that not all people who were left without a job were classified as employed, since they were not always available to look for a new occupation.

It is the “increase in the number of inactive people available to work, but who did not look for a job” that explains that the rate of underutilization of work was fixed at 13.8% in the last quarter of the year, covering 750 thousand people.

This indicator, which aggregates the unemployed population, inactive people not available to work, or underemployment, decreased compared to the previous quarter (by 63.4 thousand people) but increased compared to the same quarter (by 72 thousand).

There is a similar movement in the case of the employed population absent from work even before this second confinement: in the reference week of the fourth quarter of 2020 it decreased by 47.8% (396 thousand) in relation to the previous quarter and increased by 26.0% ( 89 thousand) in year-on-year terms.

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