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Unemployment to fall to single digit in Portugal, says minister

Staff Writer |
Portugal’s Finance Minister Mário Centeno said that the country’s unemployment rate will fall to less than two figures, contradicting the projections of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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"Portugal, throughout 2016, recorded one of the biggest drops in unemployment in Europe, by two percentage points, with the rate at around 10%. We will lower that to below two figures.

"If we do that we will have to apologies to secretary-general [of the OECD Angel] Gurría: the report does not project that will happen," said Mário Centeno.

Centeno was referring to the OECD report on the Portuguese economy published on Friday in which the organisation said that, given the "low growth" along with a higher minimum wage and the continued rigidity of the labour market, the fall in unemployment will be "much slower than in the last two years," and that "it is likely that unemployment will remain at two figures, among the highest rates in the European Union."

The OECD recognised that unemployment in Portugal has fallen, and warned that it remains at "uncomfortably high levels," at 10.5%, and 26.1% among young people.

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