According to the quarterly bulletin of the Coordination and Development Commission of the North Region (CCDR-N) that presents the trends of the economic evolution in the North region, the data represents the lowest level of unemployment since the third quarter of 2002.

As for the unemployment rate of workers with higher education, it fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest value of the century.

According to Norte Conjuntura, the employed population of the region increased to 1,722,100 people, with the creation of further 9,400 jobs compared to the same quarter of 2018.

The pace of employment growth has been slowing for nine quarters and, as a result, in the northern region, the employment rate from 20 to 64 years increased very slightly to 74.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

In Portugal, the same indicator reached 76.1 percent, increasing the difference between national and regional rates, the bulletin said.

The unemployed population fell to 113,7000 people in the second quarter of 2019, representing a reduction of 19,200 unemployed compared to the same quarter of 2018.

As for the average net monthly salary of employees in the North region, it reached €865 in the second quarter of the year.

Among the major sectors of activity, only the primary sector, which includes agriculture, animal production, hunting, forestry and fishing, registered a decrease in employment in year-on-year terms (down 7.2 percent), it said.

Norte Conjuntura stated that manufacturing industries are the most important branch of activity in the region, employing 429,900 people, equivalent to 25 percent of all employment in the second quarter of 2019.

The report also highlighted that the default rate on housing loans reached the lowest level in the last ten years, at 1.7 percent.