Asset Publisher

Article

The pandemic and the labour market: What we know a year later

Bruno P. Carvalho, Nova School of Business and Economics and ECARES (Université Libre de Bruxelles); Mariana Esteves, Nova School of Business and Economics; Susana Peralta, Nova School of Business and Economics;
Report funded by the Social Equity Initiative

More than one year into the pandemic, employment and hours worked are still lower than in the pre-pandemic period. The average wage increased, most likely due to the destruction of precarious, low-wage jobs. Registrations in public employment centres increased, particularly in the tourist-intensive region of Algarve. Workers with less than secondary education lost 126 thousand temporary contracts and 120 thousand permanent ones, between the first quarters of 2019 and 2021. In the same period, temporary and permanent contracts increased for workers with higher education. The average weekly hours worked decreased, mainly for low-wage workers, young people, and families with children (especially single-parent households). This article uses secondary data from the Labour Force Survey, conducted by Statistics Portugal, and data on the registrations at Public Employment Offices (Instituto para o Emprego e Formação Profissional).
Key points
  • 1
       Between the second quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, the average weekly number of hours worked decreased more than 40 minutes for households with lower wages and increased almost 1 hour for those with higher wages.
  • 2
       The number of people on the job seekers’ list increased by 28% between February and December 2020, mainly due to the 30% increase in enrolments from individuals with secondary education. The increase was more pronounced (and persistent) in the Algarve region.
  • 3
       Transition from employment to unemployment or to inactivity increased between 2019 and 2020. Between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020 they were at least three times more common than between 2018 and 2019.
  • 4
       The average wage increased from 929€ to 982€, between the first quarters of 2020 and 2021. In the same period, the number of temporary contracts decreased. This suggests that the destruction of employment was concentrated in precarious and low-wage jobs.
  • 5
       In the first quarter of 2021, more than 30% of workers with higher education worked remotely, which compares to 11% and 2% workers with secondary education and basic education or less, respectively.

In the aftermath of the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic, several studies have quantified the unequal labour market impacts of the pandemic on temporary workers around the world. The impact of the pandemic in the Portuguese labour market is highly heterogenous across population groups. Mobility restrictions induced a shift towards remote working, which is only possible in some occupations. The prevalence of remote work is higher for individuals with higher education. In the first quarter of 2021, these individuals were three times more likely to be working remotely than those with secondary education and 21 times more likely to be working remotely than those with basic education.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

Portugal, Social Balance 2022

The "Portugal Social Balance 2022" report analyses the economic and social state of Portugal, including the distribution of support during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the cost of living on families of different incomes, as well as addressing food insecurity.

Article

Portugal, Social Balance Sheet 2021 - A portrait of the country and of the pandemic

“Portugal, Social Balance Sheet” is an annual report that analyses poverty and social exclusion in Portugal.

You may also find interesting

Flash call to support research projects on the Social impact of longer lifespans  (FS24-1B)

calls

Flash call to support research projects on the Social impact of longer lifespans (FS24-1B)


Social Inclusion

The Social Observatory of the ”la Caixa” Foundation is launching a call to support research projects in social sciences that study the social impact of Longer Lifespans through the conducting of a quantitative survey.

Why don’t we offer the same help to all victims of cyberbullying?

Article

Why don’t we offer the same help to all victims of cyberbullying?


Social Inclusion

This article highlights that both traditional bullying and cyberbullying have a large audience. Observant people can influence behaviour, either by encouraging or stopping aggression.

“BlindGame”: The online gambling activities of Portuguese young people

Article

“BlindGame”: The online gambling activities of Portuguese young people


Social Inclusion

A study of 2,028 young people aged between 15 and 34 in Portugal revealed a significant prevalence of online gambling behaviour, with gender and age differences. The results indicate concerns for parents, educators and public authorities due to the growing uptake of this form of entertainment.