Portuguese unemployment rate at official record 15.8%
The unemployment rate in Portugal hit a record of 15.8 percent in the third quarter this year, official data showed on Wednesday as thousands of Portuguese took to the streets to protest against the effects of tough reforms to correct public finances.
The latest figure on the effects of budget reforms on unemployment was up from 15 percent in the previous quarter and 12.4 percent a year before, the data from the INE statistics agency showed.
This level is above the rate of 15.5 percent forecast for the year by the government and creditors from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
At the end of September, the country recorded 870,900 job seekers, which was 181,300 more than the third quarter in 2011, in an active population estimated at 5.5 million people.
The youth unemployment rate rose to 39 percent, from 30 percent a year ago and 35.5 percent the previous quarter of this year.
Long-term unemployment was 8.8 percent, the agency said.
In return for a debt rescue in May 2011, Portugal has undertaken a tough programme of budget correction and structural reform of the economy.
This has caused household spending and investment to fall sharply and pushed unemployment to record high levels.