Data released by Eurostat show that the rate of job vacancies registered in Portugal is just below the community average, being the seventh lowest among European Union (EU) countries.

In the EU as a whole, in the third quarter, the job vacancy rate stood at 2.6%, below the 2.7% recorded in the previous quarter and the 2.9% recorded a year ago, according to a report by ECO.

Also in the Eurozone, the trend was downward, between July and September: the rate in question stood at 2.9%, which means it fell compared to 3% in the previous three months and 3.1% in the same quarter.

Now, among the Member States for which data is available, five countries saw an increase in the rate of job offers in the third quarter — Cyprus was in the spotlight, with an increase of 0.7 percentage points —, four registered values identical to those of the same period and 18 recorded declines — it was in the Czech Republic that the largest decrease occurred (one percentage point).

Portugal fits into this last group. Here, the weight of vacant jobs in total jobs fell to 1.4%, that is, it was below both the 1.5% recorded in the previous quarter and the 1.7% recorded a year ago.

With this value, Portugal was below both the community average and the single currency as a whole, not far from the European country with the lowest rate of job offers (Ireland, with 1.2%).

In contrast, in Belgium 4.7% of jobs were vacant in the third quarter, this being the highest rate in the EU. This was followed by the Netherlands (4.5%), Austria (4.2%) and Germany (4.1%).