in 2017


Key drivers

Wage pressure in high-skill industries (9.9)

The wage gap between high- and lower-skill industries has widened, driven by rising wage growth in some high-skill sectors.

Talent mismatch (9.4)

There is evidence of a growing skills gap in Portugal, as the rate of job vacancies rose last year.

Education flexibility (5.2)

The share of Portugal’s population holding degrees fell this year, causing its education flexibility score to rise slightly.


Education flexibility


Labour market participation


Labour market flexibility


Talent mismatch


Overall wage pressure


Wage pressure in high-skill industries


Wage pressure in high-skill occupation


Paula Baptista

Managing Director, Hays Portugal

View from the Ground

As the economy gains traction and the unemployment rate reaches its lowest level in 14 years, a shortage of candidates for high-skill industries is becoming a national issue and the competition between organisations for the best talent is now stronger than ever. It is imperative that all participants in the labour market work together to tackle this issue, otherwise it will soon impact our collective ability to grow and to seize all the opportunities this positive economic environment can provide us. The high level of talent mismatch seems to be a sign that part of the solution may reside in upskilling those who currently don’t have the necessary skills, in order to meet the present market’s needs.

Paula Baptista, Managing Director, Hays Portugal

COUNTRY profile

Continuing growth through 2018 is likely to see Portugal’s GDP return to its pre-crisis levels by the end of the year.

Driven by an expansion in jobs in the service sector, employment rose by 3.1% in 2017. Its fastest rate of growth since 1998. As a result, unemployment has fallen sharply, the rate declining by 2.2 percentage points to 8.9%. Labour cost pressures are emerging in key sectors, as suggested by the country’s high industry wage pressure score in the Index. Further pressure is expected in the future from adverse demographics: the population has been declining since 2010. In part, this reflects net outward migration.

Key skills in demand

  • Full Stack Developers
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Maintenance Engineers
  • Certified Accountants
  • Internal Auditors