By Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the trimester ending April 2019, the unemployment rate (12.5 percent) in Brazil varied 0.5 percentage points from that between November 2018 and January 2019 (12.0 percent) and fell in comparison with the quarter between February and April 2018 (12.9 percent).

A record number of unemployed have given up looking for a job. (Photo Alamy)

Brazil had 13.2 million unemployed people in the three month period, the statistics agency (IBGE) reported.

The grim assessment of Brazil’s job market came a day after figures showed Latin America’s largest economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter, the first contraction since it emerged from a devastating 2015-2016 recession.

The working population of 92.4 million people was stable in comparison with the previous quarter and grew 2.1 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

The population outside of the labor force (65.0 million people) remained the same compared to the quarter lasting from November 2018 to January 2019 (65.3 million people) and also compared to the same quarter from the previous year (64.9 million people).

The rate of underutilization of the labor force is 24.9 percent, or 28.4 million people and stands at a historical record high since the study began in 2012.

The number of people unable to find jobs increased by 4.3 percent to 4.9 million.

The number of employees in the private sector with a formal contract (excluding domestic workers) stood at 33.1 million, remaining flat over the previous quarter and rising by 1.5 percent (over 480 thousand) compared to the same period in 2018, reaching its highest level in more than a year, according to the report.

The self-employed category (23.9 million people) was stable compared to the previous quarter and grew by 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

The average real income of R$2,295 was stable in both comparisons.

Investment remains on hold as President Bolsonaro struggles to negotiate passage through Congress of an overhaul to the nation’s pension system.


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