By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The unemployment rate in Brazil during the first quarter of 2015 rose to 7.9 percent from the 6.5 percent registered during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Statistical Institute) through its quarterly National Household Survey (Continuous PNAD). The rate is the highest since the first quarter of 2013.
The survey released on Thursday morning, May 7th, showed that 56.2 percent of working age persons, or 92.02 million persons, were working in Brazil during the first quarter of the year, while the previous quarter (Q4/2014) the total number of working persons in Brazil was slightly higher, with 92.88 million.
The Continuous PNAD also showed that, in relation to the fourth quarter of 2014, the number of workers in the private sector who had formal labor contracts remained stable, at 78.2 percent.
The Northeastern region of Brazil registered the largest unemployment rate (9.6 percent) while the South registered the lowest (5.1 percent). Unemployment was greatest among 18-24 years old with 17.6 percent. According to the survey workers’ average monthly income increased by 0.8 percent in relation to the fourth quarter of 2014, to R$1,840.
The IBGE wants the quarterly Continuous PNAD index survey to eventually replace the traditional Annual PNAD and Monthly Employment Survey (PME). The Continuous PNAD surveys the labor market in nearly 3,500 municipalities across the country.