Qualified immigrants revitalise Portugal’s labour market and work wonders on dwindling demographics

Qualified immigrants are revitalising Portugal’s labour market and working wonders on dwindling demographics.

This is the bottom line of a recent study by the Bank of Portugal, which suggests the aspects bringing foreigners flocking are the recent recovery of the Portuguese economy, the fiscal incentives at work and “the perception of Portugal as a safe country”.

Brexit too has been a key factor.

The majority of incoming migrants, since the middle of 2018, have been Brazilians, Italians and Brits.

They’re described as “younger, more qualified and more dynamic” than the native working population, and without them BdP is emphatic: Portugal’s active population “would continue to fall”.

As for numbers, “in the first half of 2019 saw work-age foreign residents in Portugal increased to 198,000, corresponding to 3% of the population in this age bracket”.

This number is up by roughly 40,000 on figures for 2017.

But there are still words of ‘caution’: to keep this tendency going, internal conditions have to work to continue to attract ‘and retain’ young people of working age. This may not be an easy task, bearing in mind Portugal holds “an intermediate position” when it comes to OECD indicators on the country’s capacity to attract talent, says the study.

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