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Portuguese unemployment falls for first time since bailout

Portugal’s unemployment rate fell in the first quarter, marking the first contraction since the country was bailed out in 2011, data from the national statistics institute INE showed on Wednesday.

In the three-month period ending on June 30, the unemployment rate fell to 16.4 percent from 17.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

On a year-on-year comparison, however, the number of registered unemployed rose by 7.1 percent, representing some 886,000 people.

In 2011, Portugal pledged to carry out sweeping reforms including massive job cuts in the civil service in exchange for 78 billion euros ($104 billion) in rescue funds put up by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.