In Brazil, the unemployment rate in the country's six largest metropolitan regions was 7.9% in 2008, as against 9.3% in 2007. The result is the lowest since 2002, when these numbers started to be collected.
In December, the unemployment rate was 6.8%. There was a reduction of 0.8% in comparison with November (7.6%), and of 0.6% over the same period of the previous year (7.4%). The result recorded in December was also the lowest for the month ever since the beginning of the historical series.
The number of unemployed persons in the month, 1.6 million, represents a reduction of 11% over November, and of 6.3% in comparison with December 2007. The figures are part of the Monthly Labor Survey, disclosed by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The survey also shows that the average income of workers, of 1,284.90 reais (US$ 545), increased 0.5% in comparison with the month of November, and 3.6% compared with the same period of the previous year.
In December, the sectors that hired the most, compared with the same month in 2007, were education, health, social services, public administration, defense and social security (7.3%); services provided to companies, rents, real estate activities and financial intermediation (7.3%); and construction (6.5%).
The Monthly Labor Survey is conducted in Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre.