By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Unemployment rate in Brazil for the quarter ending in October of 2015 increased by nine percent, according to the IBGE’s (Brazilian Statistics Bureau) National Household Survey (PNAD). The rate is the highest since 2012, when the historic series was started.

Workers with formal contracts and documents decreased in 2015
Workers with formal contracts and documents decreased in 2015, photo by Marcos Santos/USP Images.

According to the survey over 9.1 million persons sought, but were not able to obtain, employment during the three-month period ending in October of 2015. The number represents an increase of 5.3 percent in relation to the three previous months (May-June-July) and of 38.3 percent in comparison to the same period in 2014.

The survey shows that although the number of unoccupied persons (those seeking employment but not employed) increased, the number of employed persons during the time remained at approximately 92.3 million, stable in comparison to the previous three months and the same time the previous year. Analysts conclude that the increase during the three-month survey period is due to the increase of people trying to go back to the labor market.

Due to rising inflation, lower earnings and economic instability in the country, family members who had stayed out of the labor market are now seeking employment to complement household earnings. “There were ten years of successive improvements in the labor market, and a good part of this, unfortunately, was reversed in one year of recession,” economics professor, João Luiz Saboia, told Agencia Brasil.

Real earnings during the period surveyed were 0.7 percent lower than that of the previous three-month period and down by one percent in relation to the same period in 2014. The number of workers with formal jobs fell by one percent in comparison to the previous three months and by -3.2 percent in comparison to the same period in 2014.

The Pnad has substituted the monthly employment report as the official report for unemployment in Brazil.

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