Economists in Portugal warn there is more unemployment on the way for Portugal – with official figures currently being touted having little bearing on reality.
Talking to Correio da Manhã, various experts concede that this latest lockdown – with no sign yet of a let-up in sight – is going to take the national situation very much further downhill.
February 2020 – before the pandemic began to bite – saw 315,562 people registered at IEFP job centres. Ten months later, there were 402,254.
But this is a totally random indicator, stressed Eugénio Rosa whose blog this weekend stresses how less than 30 in every 100 unemployed people actually receive unemployment benefit.
The pandemic is most affecting those who worked in low-paid precarious jobs, and this is “causing poverty and hunger to spread across the country”.
Vera Gouveia Barros who writes regularly for ECO online said it doesn’t take anyone with any gifts of foresight to see that unemployment is set to increase once again.
Yes, the ‘wheels of government support’ are now ‘better oiled’ than they were in the first lockdown, but companies now are much more fragile than in March/ April after successive months with reduced turnover. Some haven’t even opted for lay-off this time round, they have simply closed their doors.
Says Eugénia Rosa: “They can’t hold on. It is clear that recovery is no longer possible. From an economic point of view, we’re on the way to an abyss”.
And the closure of schools (on the understanding that time lost now will be made up over Easter) will have a knock-on effect on any ‘Easter tourism’ that might otherwise have transpired.