Unemployment rate reached 10.8% in March, in the six largest metropolitan areas of Brazil. It has been high for three consecutive months.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), there was no significant variation when compared to February, when the rate was 10.6%. When compared to March 2004 (12.8%), however, unemployment dropped 2 percentage points.
Research shows that the number of unoccupied people increased from 2.313 million in February, to 2.375 million in March. When compared to March 2004, there was a reduction of 13.9%, which represents 384 thousand people. Women are still majority among unemployed population. In March 2002 they were 52.3%, and now they are 56.9% of this group.
19.6% of unemployed people were looking for their first jobs. 27.6% were heads of the family. The survey also indicates that the education level among unemployed population has been steadily increasing: in March 2003, 40.2% had completed at least the middle school, this percentage reached 43.3% in March 2004, and now went up to 46.5%.
When compared to February, unemployment rate remained stable on the six researched areas. Although, when compared to March 2004, there were reductions in Belo Horizonte (-11.2%), Rio de Janeiro (-14,9%), São Paulo (-19,5%), and Porto Alegre (-17,6%). Recife was the only one to have an increase in unemployment rate (15.3%). Salvador was the only researched area to present stability.