Portugal Second-Quarter Jobless Rate Falls as Growth Accelerates

Portugal’s unemployment rate declined in the three months through June as the number of jobless from services and agriculture businesses dropped.

Joblessness fell to 8.8 percent, down from 10.1 percent in the first quarter and 10.8 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said on its website on Wednesday. That’s the lowest since 2011 when the statistics office changed the methodology for its data series.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa was sworn in at the end of 2015 and his minority Socialist government has reversed state salary cuts faster than the previous administration proposed, while increasing indirect taxes. Exports and tourism are helping to drive faster economic growth, and the government sees the jobless rate declining to 9.9 percent in 2017 from 11.1 percent last year.

The number of unemployed workers from service businesses declined 13 percent from the previous quarter while those from agriculture dropped 28 percent. The number of jobless workers from industries including manufacturing, construction and energy fell 12 percent. The number of people seeking their first job slipped 0.5 percent. Youth unemployment was at 22.7 percent in the second quarter.

— With assistance by Giovanni Salzano

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