After falling for three consecutive months, Brazil’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 11.4% in August – a statistically insignificant difference from the rate in July when it was 11.2%, reports the Brazilian government statistical bureau (IBGE).
That works out to 2.5 million unemployed in August, compared to 2.4 million in July (or, looking at the situation from the other side: there were 19.2 million workers in August and 19.1 million in July).
Just how much the situation has improved can be seen by going back a year and looking at August 2003, when there were 2.8 million unemployed.
However, according to the latest IBGE monthly employment survey, women continue to lead men in unemployment. In August 2002, 53.1% of the unemployed were women; in August 2003, 55.4%; and in August 2004, 56.1%.
As recently as last month, the Brazilian government was acting on the premise that it is possible to generate jobs in sufficient quantity not only to meet the demands of those who are entering the labor market but also to reduce the overall unemployment rate.
This could cause the unemployment rate to fall below 10% before the year is out, affirmed the Minister of Labor, Ricardo Berzoini.
“This encourages us greatly, because it represents a significant conquest by the government in reducing unemployment, which is a central goal of economic policy,” Berzoini said.
“This could mean even more than ten million jobs by the end of the Administration’s mandate,” the Minister claimed, following an address to members of the Association of Sales and Marketing Executives of Brazil.
For the Minister, the current statistics are very promising, since there was a 2% reduction in the country’s unemployment level in three months.