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World

Brazil's jobless rate falls to 14.3pc, first decline this year

  • The 14.3% unemployment rate was down from the record 14.6% in the three months to September.
  • The number of people in work was 84.3 million, up 2.8% from the May-July period but still down 10.4%.
Published December 29, 2020

BRASILIA: Brazil's unemployment rate fell to 14.3% in the three months through October, official figures showed on Tuesday, the first decline this year as the number of people in work rose by almost 2 million from the preceding three months.

The 14.3% unemployment rate was down from the record 14.6% in the three months to September, statistics agency IBGE said, and lower than the median forecast of 14.7% in a Reuters poll of economists. At the end of last year it was 11.0%.

Formal job growth has hit record levels in recent months as Latin America's largest economy recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic but this is the first sign that the broader labor market, which includes millions of informal workers, may be turning.

The number of people in work was 84.3 million, up 2.8% from the May-July period but still down 10.4% or 9.8 million people from the same period last year, IBGE said.

The workforce of 98.4 million people was up more than 3 million from the three months through July, and the number of people who were out of the workforce completely fell by almost two million to 77.2 million, IBGE said.

Some other figures were less encouraging, and the unemployment rate could remain high as more people return to the labor market to look for work.

The number of official unemployed stood at 14.1 million people, IBGE said, up by almost 1 million or 7% from May-July and 13.7% higher than August-October last year.

The number of underemployed was largely unchanged at 32.5 million people from May-July, IBGE said, while the underemployment rate dipped to 29.5%% from 30.1%.

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