Benefits delay affecting half of country’s unemployed

MORE THAN 45 per cent of Portugal’s unemployed have been struggling to support their families this summer, due to delays in the payment of their unemployment benefit.

This is the worrying situation that has been revealed this week by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), the national institute for statistics.

Of the 282,400 currently registered as being unemployed, 129,500 are still waiting for their unemployment benefit payments in the second quarter of this year, reveals the employment division of Portugal’s official statistics institute.

These numbers translate to an increase of 15.7 per cent against the same period last year, when 111,900 unemployed citizens found themselves without benefits. However, in the first quarter of this year, the number of unemployed workers who experienced a delay in receiving their subsidies fell by 2.9 per cent.

According to the INE, the number of people in Portugal who have been unemployed for between one and two years increased by almost 49 per cent in the first quarter of 2005. In the same period last year, there were only 102,900 people registered unemployed.