Lisbon, Portugal, May 11 (Lusa) – Unemployment in Portugal rose 0.2 percentage points to 12.4% in the first quarter of this year from the previous quarter, and was 1.3 points below its level of the same period of last year, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Wednesday.
According to the employment statistics released by the INE, the number of unemployed rose 1.0% in the quarter to an estimated 640,200, but was down 10.2% from the first quarter of 2015.
Analysts contacted by Lusa had said that a further rise in unemployment was probable, given the recent slight slowdown in economic activity.
Most analysts estimated a jobless rate of 12.4% and 12.6%, with the exception of BBVA, which had foreseen a decline in the rate to 12.1%.
The jobless rate had already risen to 12.2% in the fourth quarter of last year from 11.9% in the third quarter.
PD/ARO // ARO.