I was involved in a software project, recently, which had to be shut down. Basically there was a very tight deadline and not enough programmers.
Portugal, as is thoroughly documented in the media, is in a deep unemployment crysis. People are scared. Those with jobs desperately try to cling to them. Many beseech the government to take employment protecting measures. When the government went and made it a tiny bit easier to fire people instead, it caused a bit of a fuss. Of course it did. People want more job security, not less.
Meanwhile, companies have a hard time recruiting good talent. Unemployed people usually suck, employed people are usually prevented from changing jobs with less than two months’ notice. The law which forces companies to give two months notice to a worker being terminated also forces said worker to give the company two months notice when switching jobs. It’s a double edged sword whose only practical result, as far as I can tell, is to make everything move a lot slower in the job market.
A company in need of hiring good talent quickly finds itself out of options. My old boss will probably end up outsourcing the development work to eastern europe or southeast asia and another crumb will be taken out of the portuguese economy.
It’s no secret that a weak economy means less jobs.