The major effects of this crisis are still being felt today and were worsened by the COVID-19 situation, which saw increased unemployment rates and decreased GDP for Portugal. In 2014, Portugal's unemployment rates were recorded at nearly 14%, a rate comparable with Greece’s at the time, as shown in this graph by the Compare The Market Income Protection team.
The 2014 crisis in Portugal was one of the main reasons for this high unemployment rate. The government has improved this situation by implementing new plans that will help create jobs and reduce poverty levels. These plans include:
The government proposed a plan to reduce poverty by raising the minimum salary from 580€/ month to 600€/ month in 2014, and then again to 650€/month in 2015. The government has also reduced taxes on certain products (including food, books, and theater tickets) to help stimulate the economy even more by allowing citizens to spend their money elsewhere.
A further initiative is aimed at reducing bureaucracy for businesses to make it easier for the Portuguese people to start a business, reduce the paperwork required, and allow more transparency regarding tax obligations. The government also aimed to improve conditions for entrepreneurs by simplifying access to credit, which has been made significantly more complex since 2011 due to social pressure from citizens.
The Portuguese government has embraced a dual education system that combines training from institutions with apprenticeships in companies. This system mainly targets unemployed youth between 25 and 35 years old without professional qualifications. It also targets people returning to the labor force and individuals with minimal qualifications. While the exact number remains unclear, thousands of youth have enrolled in an apprenticeship.
Limiting Inflows From the Working Population
Reducing the inflow rate has remained a priority for Portugal as it continues to combat unemployment. Job placement experts can leverage the active labor market policy instruments conditional on budget limits. The pay of job placement professionals in relation to performance also offers a viable option.
However, the critical solution embraced by Portuguese labor markets is the professional competency diagnostics by employment agency personnel. Through placement officers, the government has overcome the challenge of strengthening the short-term unemployed population to make them more suited to the labor market and match the strengths with the right opportunities at the right time. The government continues to optimize job placement strategies to reduce the inflow rate from short-term unemployment.
The Effects of COVID on Strategies for Unemployment in Portugal
Portugal's unemployment rate is currently at 6.7%. The Portuguese government has been trying to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate for a while now, but they have not had much success so far. The pandemic has only served to exacerbate these issues in the following ways.
One way COVID-19 has contributed to higher unemployment is by lowering wages. People are less likely to find jobs because companies are unwilling or unable to pay them what they deserve for their services. When the cost of living goes up, people need more money to make ends meet, making it difficult for unemployed people to find new jobs. Some companies have even had to let go of some employees because the pandemic made operating so expensive.
Low Future Prospects for Young People
The pandemic may also be why younger people are having more difficulty finding employment in Portugal, and that is especially true for people looking to start their businesses. COVID-19 has made it more difficult for entrepreneurs and small business owners to find loans because banks no longer have much money available to invest or lend out. Young adults may not follow their dreams of starting a new company, making it even more difficult for them to get a good job.
Unemployment has remained a considerable problem for Portugal since the 2014 economic crisis, and it only got worse through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government has adopted some measures to fight the problem. It has invested in education programs and ways to prevent the problem from the root. It has also explored ways to reduce inflows from the working population and increase outflow to employment and education.