The most troubling projections on pandemic unemployment are coming true, because on Tuesday, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that in the March-May 2020 quarter the vacancy rate reached 11.2%.
This is the highest figure in the whole series since 2010, and represents an increase of 4 percentage points in twelve months
At the regional level, the Metropolitan Region stands out, where the vacancy rate of the March-May 2020 quarter was 11.9%, expanding by 4.5 pp. in twelve months. The rise of the indicator was influenced by the decline of the labour force (-10.6%), linked to the contraction of 15.0% of the occupied. Meanwhile, the unemployed increased by 43.6%, driven by the cessation.
The factor of the Employment Protection Act
According to information collected by the National Employment Survey (ENE), the unemployed grew 35.1%, affected only by the cessation (44.3%).
The seasonally adjusted vacancy rate was 11.0%, with 2.0 pp. higher than the previous mobile quarter as a result of the decline in the workforce (-7.4%) and the contraction of the occupied (-9.4%).
In twelve months, participation and occupancy rates stood at 53.6% and 47.6%, contracting 9.2 pp. and 10.6 pp., in each case and recording the lowest levels of the whole series, adds the report.
Meanwhile, the population outside the workforce increased by 27.4%, influenced by people who were mostly not looking for a job, but were available to work, forming the so-called potential workforce.
This increased transit to inactivity is due to mobility restrictions by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant that pressures on the labour market (rising unemployment) are lower, the INE explains.
The combined rate of unemployment and potential workforce reached 28.1%, with an increase of 14.5 pp. in the period. In men it stood at 24.5% and in women at 32.7%.
Total occupiers had a decrease of 16.5%, affected by both women (-19.8%) as for men (-14.1%). Absentee occupiers, representing 15.4% of the total occupied, increased by 149.8%, equivalent to 689,278 people. Workers under the Employment Protection Act are in this category, the INE clarified.
Sectors hit hardest
The reduction in the occupied was influenced by trade (-19.4%), accommodation and food services (-42.4%) construction (-23.1%), sectors strongly impacted by national contingency that has prevented the normal development of economic activities.
While by occupational category, the largest setbacks were observed in self-employed (-29.5%) and formal wage earners (-8.4%).
The informal occupancy rate stood at 23.5%, with a retracement of 3.9 pp. in twelve months.
In twelve months, the workload, measured by the total number of effective hours worked by the occupied, fell by 27.0%. Similarly, the average number of hours worked decreased by 12.5%, reaching 33.6 hours.