Rise in Portugal's unemployment slows, but jobless figure up 37% on year ago

LISBON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The number of people registered as unemployed in Portugal edged up 0.2% in July from the previous month, but was 37% higher year-on-year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Institute of Employment and Professional Training said.

The figures released on Thursday showed the increase in unemployment numbers has slowed sharply, from a sobering 14.1% month-on-month rise in April to 4.2% in May and 0.6% in June.

Still, the Algarve region, hardest hit by the crisis due to its heavy reliance on tourism, continues to suffer the highest levels of unemployment, with a 216.1% year-on-year increase in July compared to the same month last year.

Greater Lisbon, also missing its usual droves of visitors and struggling to repair its image after a persistently high infections tally across June and July, reported a year-on-year increase of 51.6%.

Data from the Institute of National Statistics showed around 180,000 jobs had disappeared since February, a month before a six-week long lockdown. (Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Jan Harvey)