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NEW’S | Unemployment has been falling in the Azores for more than 36 months, says Maria João Carreiro

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Unemployment has been falling in the Azores for more than 36 months – last April, there were 4,712 unemployed registered at the Regional Training and Employment Centre, corresponding to a reduction of 13.2% compared to the same period last year (5,427) and 32.6% compared to April 2021, when there were 6,993 unemployed registered, according to data from the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP).

This downward trend in unemployment in the Azores has been underway since January 2021 (7,032 unemployed) and continued in January 2022 (6,415 unemployed), January 2023 (5,686 unemployed) and January 2024 (4,953 unemployed).

Since June last year, that is, for 11 consecutive months, the Region has registered 5,000 fewer unemployed.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed benefitting from social and professional integration measures is falling.

According to recent IEFP figures, 1,599 people were enrolled in
occupational programmes as of last April, 63.5% less than in April 2021 (4,379 employed). 

The Regional Secretary for Youth, Housing and Employment considers that “these indicators are good, firstly because they reflect an improvement for Azorean workers and families and, secondly, because they are the result of the confidence and dynamics of the Azorean economy after a pandemic and a war that generated inflationary pressure.”

Maria João Carreiro recalls that more than 6,000 employment contracts have been supported since 2021, 85% of which were contracts of indefinite duration and 59% concerned workers up to 30. The average salary of workers hired through the CONTRATAR programme (€1,117) stands 36.5% above the  Minimum Monthly Wage in the Region for 2024.

“Improving the employability of Azoreans with low qualifications; promoting job quality; and empowering the economy with qualified, motivated and productive professionals are essential for promoting a fairer society, an attractive labour market and the happiness of Azorean workers and families,” she said.

The increase in job advertisements and the placement of more unemployed people in the labour market has also led to an increase in the employed population in the Azores.

Between the 1st quarter of 2021 and the 1st quarter of 2024, 11,000 more Azoreans joined the labour market. In the 1st quarter of this year, the employed population is the largest ever in the Azores – 119 thousand workers.

GRA/RÁDIOILHÉU

Mauricio De Jesus
Maurício de Jesus é o Diretor de Programação da Rádio Ilhéu, sediada na Ilha de São Jorge. É também autor da rubrica 'Cronicas da Ilha e de Um Ilhéu' que é emitida em rádios locais, regionais e da diáspora desde 2015.