Portugal’s brain drain
Peter Wise in the FT has a news feature about skilled young workers leaving Portugal. In recent years, emigration has surged, reaching levels similar to Portugal’s biggest exodus in the 1960s. Officials and researchers say at least 100,000 people are leaving each year, almost the equivalent of one person emigrating every five minutes and similar to the Irish emigration rate. “In a country of 10m people, that represents a huge wave of emigration,” says João Peixoto, a sociologist who works with Portugal’s Emigration Observatory. Today’s emigrants have university degrees and are often highly skilled professionals. Struggling to comply with the terms of a €78bn bailout, Portugal has seen unemployment among under-25s soar above 37%, compared with a total jobless rate of 16.4%. Young graduates have been among the hardest hit, with a jobless rate that is slightly higher than overall youth unemployment. According to researchers, London has become one of the most attractive cities for the best qualified Portuguese emigrants, particularly nurses, IT engineers and financial specialists.