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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The unemployment rate in Brazil continues to rise and the country now has 14.2 million unemployed in the quarter ended in March. This is 14.9 percent higher than the previous quarter (October, November and December 2016), and reflects of 1.8 million more unemployed people.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, the unemployment rate climbed to 27.8 percent, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Compared to the first quarter of last year, the unemployment rate climbed to 27.8 percent, photo Divulgação/Governo do Rio Grande do Sul.

The data are part of the National Continuous Household Survey (PNAD) published today, April 28th in Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) with the results of the first quarter.

According to the IBGE, the unemployment rate closed March at 13.7 percent, with a rise of 1.7 percentage points compared to the October-December 2016 quarter, when unemployment was at twelve percent.

In relation to the 10.9 percent of the unemployment rate of the equivalent quarter of the same period last year, the increase was of 2.8 percentage points. This was the highest unemployment rate in the historical series, which began in the first quarter of 2012.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, the unemployment rate climbed to 27.8 percent, which means that an additional 3.1 million people are out of work.

According to Cimar Azeredo, IBGE’s Work and Income coordinator, since the first quarter of 2014, the country has lost about there million jobs with a formal contract.

IBGE data shows the lowest unemployment was registered in the quarter ended in February 2014, when there were 6.6 million unemployed, that number more than doubled in three years.

“The labor market continues to deteriorate. We lost more than 1.8 million jobs, and about seventy percent of this loss was jobs with a formal contract,” says Azeredo.

According to IBGE, it was the smallest contingent of workers with a formal contract already observed in the historical series of the survey.

Local news outlet G1 also reported that the average income was estimated at R$2,110 in the first quarter of 2017, stable both in the October-December 2016 quarter (R$2,064) and the same quarter of the previous year (R$2,059).

In relation to the previous quarter, there was a rise for employees in the public sector (1.9 percent) and for domestic workers (1.7 percent). In relation to the same quarter of 2016, only the employees in the public sector presented a positive variation (4.3 percent).

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