Portugal is a developed country with a mixed economy. Its trading partners are mostly countries from the European Union. Most of its industry revolves around manufacturing which has nominal need for expat workers. Alternative energy and technology industries are now taking root.
Pace of work in Portugal is slower than most European & Western nations, as are the wages, but the quality of life is better. Unemployment is on the high side so many of the native residents opt for condensed versions of self-employment schemes.
Jobs in Portugal are generally filled by word of mouth. Majority of the jobs never make it to print media, as they are marketed through social connections. Also different expatriate communities give preference to hiring workers originating from their own part of the world. So the best way for foreigners to secure jobs is to develop links in communities with background similar to their own.
Self-employment is another option for foreigners wishing to settle in Portugal. Just ensure that your skills can be transferred. Having a Portuguese business partner with some experience will make setting up the new business that much easier. Before making any investments discuss with a local tax advisor and begin very slowly so losses, if any, are kept to the minimum.
Temporary employment in hotels, tour operators, bars or restaurants is possible during the high tourist season in places like Albufeira, Alvor, Monte Gordo, Ferragudo, and Armacao de Pera. English teachers are highly sought after in cities and towns and offer good job opportunities for foreigners looking for short term work. Workers with childcare experience can find jobs as Au Pairs. While wages may be low, food and accommodation is usually provided and there won’t always be a need to speak Portuguese.