Portugal unemployment rate hits record high in 2nd quarter

A man stands next to graffiti which translates as “Thanks IMF”, in Porto, Portugal. (file photo)

Unemployment rate in Portugal hits a record high of 15 percent in the second quarter, as the labor market has been hit by tough austerity measures under an EU-IMF bailout plan. 

 

The figures released by the INE national statistics institute on Tuesday revealed that the unemployment rate had a 0.1 percent increase from the first quarter, hitting the highest level since Portugal joined the single-currency bloc.

This is while the government forecasts unemployment will increase to 15.5 percent for all of 2012 and to 15.9 percent in 2013.

The latest figure was sharply higher than 12.1 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2011.

Separate data released by the Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, on Tuesday showed that Portugal’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 1.2 percent in the second quarter, underlining a deeper recession for the debt-ridden country.

Portugal is the third country to succumb to financial troubles in the eurozone debt crisis and seek funding assistance after Greece and Ireland. The country received an EU-International Monetary Fund aid package in exchange for a commitment to impose austerity measures and reform its economy.

The measures have sparked many nationwide strikes in Portugal. (PressTV)

PG/JR/IS

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