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At 13%, Brazil's Unemployment Rate Lowest in a Decade

Brazilian men working In Brazil, unemployment rates in the metropolitan regions of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, and the Federal District (where Brazilian capital Brasília is located) dropped from 13.4% in October to 13% in November.

This is the lowest rate since January 1998, according to the Employment and Unemployment Survey (PED), promoted monthly by the State Data Analysis System Foundation (Seade) and by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socio-Economic Studies (Dieese), disclosed on Monday, December 22.

According to the Dieese, the level of occupation grew 0.4%, with the creation of 72,000 work posts and stability in the number of economically active people, resulting in a reduction of 71,000 people unemployed.

The number of people working in the regions researched was estimated at 17.556 million people and the Working Population (PEA) at 20.183 million.

The research shows that the level of occupation grew in Recife (1.5%) and in the Federal District (0,9%). Variation in São Paulo was 0.4%, in Porto Alegre it totalled 0.3% and the growth in Salvador was 0.2%. It remained stable in Belo Horizonte. The main sectors in which employment rose were industry, with 38,000 new posts generated, civil construction, 24,000, and services, 17,000.

Average income of those working in the six regions grew 0.6% and reached 1,178 Brazilian reais (US$ 496). Revenues of wage earners rose 0.9%, reaching 1.231 reais (US$ 519). The revenues of those occupied rose 1.5% and those of wage earners, 2.2%.

With regard to November last year, the level of occupation in the six regions rose 4.4%. A total of 737,000 work posts were generated, a figure higher than the number of people who entered the labor market (481,000), which resulted in a reduction of 257,000 unemployed people. Over the last 12 months the rate of unemployment in the six regions researched dropped from 14.6% to 13%.

According to the technical director at the Dieese, Clemente Ganz Lúcio, the rate in November was boosted by a reduction in the number of people in the labor market and by the good performance in posts in industry and civil construction.

"The surprise is the bad performance of the retail sector. It was expected that in November there should have been an increase in occupation in the sector, but that did not take place. Maybe this is a reflex of the international economic crisis and of expectations with regard to the behavior of the economy at the end of the year."

Ganz Lúcio said that in the first quarter of 2009, there might be an increase in the number of unemployed people, as is always the case in this period, due to the lower economic activity.

"It is expected that unemployment should rise, but by how much is what may make the difference. It is also normal for the industrial sector to give its employees leave in December and January. The percentage of this leave that is seasonal and that is due to the crisis also remains to be analyzed," he said.

The improvement in income, according to Lúcio, is due to the level of occupation, which generates greater competition between labor and the increase in minimum wages.

"These are two results that when combined with the operation of labor unions in collective negotiations should bring results in the improvement both of revenues and of the volume of people employed," said the director of the Dieese.

ABr

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