By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to just-released figures, Brazil’s unemployment rate for the three-month period of March to May 2018 stood at 12.7 percent, a nominal increase from the previous three-month period of December 2017 to February 2018 (12.6 percent).

Compared to the first quarter of last year, the unemployment rate climbed to 27.8 percent, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
For the three-month period ending in May 2018, Brazil unemployment stood at 12.7 percent, photo Divulgação/Governo do Rio Grande do Sul.

The data are part of the Brazilian National Household Survey (PNAD) published on Friday, June 29th, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

The nearly stable unemployment rate for the three month period ending in May of 2018 translated to 13.2 million people without jobs in Brazil, an increase of some one hundred thousand from the previous period ending in February (13.1 million).

A closer look at the figures further revealed that employment figures fell by 0.2 percent, or some two hundred thousand, to 90.9 million people employed in the March to May period.

The sector with the most jobs cut in the period were: trade (-265,000); information and communication, finance, real estate and professional and administrative activities (-209,000); domestic services (-188,000); and agriculture (-112,000).

Interestingly, employment in the private sector with contracts or formal work was down in the period (-351,000). Meanwhile informal employment, those working without contracts who are neither taxed nor monitored by the government, was up in both the private sector (+307,000) and the public sector (+290,000).

The increase in the number of individuals in Brazil working informally without contracts drew the attention of the IBGE Labor and Income Coordinator, Cimar Azeredo, who noted, “The reduction of jobs with a formal contract is not in line with the stability of the unemployment rate.”

Azeredo added, “It indicates a significant reduction in quality employment, which continues to fall at the beginning of the second quarter of the year.”

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