In March 2020, the unemployment rate stood at 6.2%, having decreased by 0.2 percentage points (pp) from the previous month, by 0.5 pp from three months before and by 0.3 pp from the same month of 2019.
In comparison to the previous month, the unemployed population has decreased by 14.4 thousand people (4.3%) and the employed population has decreased by 26.2 thousand people (0.5%). The active population has decreased by 40.6 thousand people (0.8%) and the inactive population has increased by 39.5 thousand (1.5%). This evolution suggests a flow from both the employed population and the unemployed population to the inactive population.
In that month, the labour underutilisation was estimated at 663.6 thousand people, corresponding to a labour underutilisation rate of 12.4%. The labour underutilisation is an indicator that aggregates the unemployed population, the underemployment of part-time workers, the inactive seeking work but not immediately available, and the inactive available but not seeking work. Due to the mobility restrictions associated with the pandemic, the analysis of this indicator is particularly relevant in this context.
In April 2020, the provisional estimate of the unemployment rate stood at 6.3%, having increased by 0.1 pp from the previous month. The provisional estimate of the labour underutilisation rate was 13.3%, up 0.9 pp from the month before.
The information in this Press release is influenced by the current situation determined by the pandemic COVID-19, either by the natural disturbance associated with the impact of the pandemic in obtaining primary information or by the behavioural changes resulting from the measures adopted to safeguard public health (for more, see page 6). For these reasons, Statistics Portugal advices special care in the analysis of the provisional estimates.
Despite the circumstances, Statistics Portugal will try to maintain the statistical production and release calendar, although some adjustments might occur. We reinforce our call for better collaboration by citizens, private and public entities in answering to Statistics Portugal's requests. The quality of official statistics, particularly its ability to identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, depends crucially on this collaboration that Statistics Portugal is grateful for in advance.