Unemployment is at historically very low levels – Government


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The Secretary of State for Labor, Miguel Fontes, considered today that the unemployment rate, which the INE indicated to have been fixed in May at 6.4%, “is at historically very low levels”, representing “a good problem” for the Government.

“We look at these numbers and this unemployment rate, yesterday [Thursday] released by the INE [National Statistics Institute] of 6.4%, with great confidence, without any triumphalism. These are very positive numbers,” he said.

On the sidelines of the 1st Employment Fair and Training Showcase of Coimbra, which is taking place in the S. Francisco Convent, the minister evidenced that the unemployment numbers, referring to May, make this month one of the best “of a long series of years”.

“We are with a universe of unemployed people that is particularly small, and I often say that that is a good problem. As Secretary of State for Labor, I’d rather have that problem than the reverse, which is the problem of high unemployment,” he maintained.

In his view, these numbers challenge employers, who “have to compete for talent, for the people factor.”

“This brings with it some positive dynamics, one of them being the increase in the wages of Portuguese workers. So far we have seen a significant increase this year, by about 8% in work that is declared to Social Security, which we are particularly pleased about,” he said.

In statements to the Lusa news agency he also defended that, by improving the wages and working conditions of the Portuguese, we contribute to a more robust and competitive economy.

“It’s not one first than the other: it’s us doing all of this simultaneously. Today, if anything characterizes contemporary societies and the companies that operate in the market, it is the competition for talent,” he stated.

The unemployment rate was 6.4% in May, a year-on-year increase of 0.4 percentage points, but a decrease of 0.1 points from the previous month, according to data from INE.

According to the statistical authority, the unemployed population (338,600) decreased in relation to the previous month (1.7%) and to three months before (6.4%), having increased in relation to the same month (8.5%).

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