Portugal Q2 Unemployment Rate Rises To Record High

Unemployment in Portugal increased to a record high in the second quarter, as the labor market has been hit by the deepening economic recession, data released by Statistics Portugal showed Tuesday.

The unemployment rate moved up to 15 percent in the second quarter from 14.9 percent in the first quarter, hitting the highest level since Portugal became a port of the single-currency bloc. The latest figure was sharply higher than 12.1 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2011.

The number of unemployed persons increased 0.9 percent sequentially to around 82,6900 during the three-month period. From the second quarter of 2011, the number of jobless climbed by 22.5 percent.

The number of employed persons, meanwhile, decreased by 0.6 percent quarter-over-quarter to about 4.69 million in the second quarter. Compared to the same period last year, employment fell by 4.2 percent, data showed.

Separate data showed that the Portuguese economy sank deeper into recession in the second quarter on a further decline in domestic demand. The gross domestic product shrank 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, following a 0.1 percent decline in the first quarter, marking the the seventh consecutive contraction.

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