Portugal's Third-Quarter Jobless Rate Remains Unchanged at 11.9%

Portugal’s third-quarter unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous three months, when it dropped to the lowest since 2010.

The unemployment rate remained at 11.9 percent in the third quarter and fell from 13.1 percent in the third quarter of 2014, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said on its website.

The number of jobless workers from industries including manufacturing, construction and energy dropped 6 percent from the previous quarter while the unemployed in services fell 2.2 percent and those from agriculture decreased 22.9 percent. The number of people seeking their first job rose 16.1 percent. Youth unemployment was at 30.8 percent in the third quarter.

Portugal’s government has been relying on exports and investment to help drive growth this year as Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has to continue cutting spending to meet budget targets. Coelho won elections on Oct. 4, though he no longer has the majority in parliament that helped him lead Portugal through a bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The government forecasts the economy will grow 1.6 percent in 2015 and accelerate in the following two years.

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