Unemployment drops to “levels not seen for 13 years”

More good news for Portugal’s economy: INE, the national statistics institute, reports that unemployment dropped according to figures for last October to 8.4% – the lowest it has been since February 2005.

Estimates are for the trend to continue.

Says Jornal de Notícias, figures for November are expected to bring levels down even further to 8.2%.

In November 2016, unemployment stood at 10.5%, the paper adds, putting the (almost) current situation into numbers:

“The provisory estimate for November’s unemployed population is 424,200, while the provisory estimate for the employed population is 4.745 million people”.

Unemployment has been falling consistently over the last few months, with the percentage of young people unemployed now down to 23.7% from the 27% registered exactly a year ago.

Adult unemployment has reduced to 7% (compared to the 9.2% of the same period last year).

Commenting on the good news, ratings agency Fitch has stressed that it is still vital for the country’s banks reduce their bad loans which remain “equivalent to 25% of GDP”.

Said the agency in a note to Reuters: “The fall in unemployment and the modest but stable level of recovery in the property market should benefit banks through the reduction of non-performing loans”.

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