After rising to 6.8 percent in 2020, the unemployment rate is expected to reach 7.7 percent this year, after which it will fall to 7.6 percent in 2022 and 7.2 percent in 2023, according to the Bulletin March economic report released on 26 March by the Bank of Portugal.

The figures for the 2021-2023 include a downward revision compared to the forecast in the December Economic Bulletin, but indicate that the unemployment rate will remain above the pre-pandemic level in this period.

“In the year as a whole, an increase in the unemployment rate is expected, reflecting the increase in individuals moving from inactivity to unemployment”, says the report, stressing that this evolution “reflects the increase in the activity rate, associated with the survey containment measures and the recovery of economic activity”.

The central bank led by Mário Centeno notes that, despite the “success of policy measures” that have been taken to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on the labour market, “it is anticipated that there will be some more prolonged effects, resulting from any changes in preferences the agents (for example, electronic purchases, business trips and teleworking) and the need to reallocate productive factors between sectors”.

But even though at the end of the projection, the unemployment rate remains at a higher level than that observed in 2019, the BdP points out that they remain “well below” that recorded in the 2011-2013 crisis.

In 2019 the unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.