Employment in Portugal

Portugal is one of the 18 European countries that have an established, national minimum wage.  Currently, the fixed minimum wage is €485 per month.  The number of Portuguese employees paid as low as the minimum wage is only around 5.5%.  That said, the percentages of employees paid minimum wage varies from industry to industry.  For example, people working in the technological industry bring in, on average, about €1300 a month.  People working in textiles, however, average much lower incomes closer to the minimum wage mark at around 467 Euros a month.

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Workweek and Gender

The average normal weekly number of hours worked in Portugal, as of 2004, is 38.4 hours for full-time employees.  Portugal’s government has set the maximum full time hours at 40.  Employers are allowed to increase individual weekly hours as agreed by their employees, as long as the average number of hours within a given reference period remains 40.  The maximum number of hours for a working day is 8hrs.  Daily hours may be increased to 13 as long as the employer is working under hours-averaging schemes.  Full-time employees average a workweek of 40.1 hours while part time employees average 20.3hrs.  In both cases, the mens’ average is slightly higher than the womens’.   Average annual paid time off in 2004 was 24.5 days out of the year.  This was an average for the entire employed population as agreed with their employers.  s a general rule, the minimum paid leave was 22.5 days at that time.

Regulation

The Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity is responsible for national labor policy in Portugal.  A public body under the authority of the Ministry of Labor is responsible for carrying out the employment and training policies defined by the government.  This public body is called the Employment and Vocational Training Institute.

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Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Portugal right now is higher than it’s ever been, at 10% nation-wide.  This is largely due to the economic crisis the country has been experiencing since 2008.  One of the largest groups of unemployed people are women between the ages of 22 and 45.  Long-term unemployment is a serious problem right now in Portugal as well.   There are many things people blame the poor economy on, but it is primarily due to the increases in debt since the Carnation Revolution of 1974 and now.






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