By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The number of unemployed persons in Brazil continues to steadily rise, with the unemployment rate in the movable quarter ending in August 2016 (June, July and August), reaching 11.8 percent according the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), registering the highest rate since this historic series began in 2012. The government, however, believes with the growth of the economy this rate will begin to improve next year.

Brazil,Unemployment rate reaches highest level since 2012 with more than 12 million unemployed persons in Brazil in August,
Unemployment rate reaches highest level since 2012 with more than 12 million unemployed persons in Brazil in August, photo by Valdecir Galor/SMCS.

The IBGE report shows an increase by more than half a million people looking for work in August in relation to the three previous months, for a total of twelve million people unemployed. The IBGE also reported that more than 712,000 job positions were closed in the three months ending in August. In the same three months in 2015 the unemployment rate was of 8.7 percent.

The data also indicated the number of people employed in the private sector remained steady at 34.2 million people. According to the IBGE the construction sector was the one most affected during the three-month period, reducing the number of workers by 3.3 percent, or close to 250,000 people. Industry in general registered a retraction of labor of 1.9 percent while domestic household jobs were cut by more than 2.8 percent.

While admitting the country’s economic situation is still very serious, Finance Minister, Henrique Meirelles, said on Friday that there are signs in the industry that the beginning of the recovery process may be underway, easing the pressure over unemployment.

“The expectation is that [unemployment] will begin to fall next year,” said Meirelles during an event in São Paulo. “We hope that with the growth of the economy the recovery of employment will inevitably occur.”

According to the Minister the government believes that the economy next year will register some growth, encouraging all sectors to invest, including in labor. “There is no doubt that with the sharp and sustained economic growth in the coming years unemployment will tend to fall in a consistent manner,” he concluded.


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