Brazil’s unemployment rate was above 10% in February, the highest level in the last nine months, reported Thursday, March 23, the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).
The 10.1% result is one full point above January’s 9.2% but below the 10.6% of February 2005. Compared to February 2005, in February 2006 there were 398,000 more people working with formal, on-the-books jobs; which means they pay taxes and receive worker benefits.
Unemployment, which had dropped to 8.3% last December climbed in February to its highest since May 2005, when it was 10.2%. The rise in unemployment last month was attributed to a seasonal cutback in temporary sales and factory positions.
Those jobs are normally scaled back following the hiring rush to meet end-of-the-year demand.
The official IBGE monthly unemployment rate measures the number of people seeking work in Brazil’s six largest metropolitan areas: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Salvador and Recife, and does not account for those employed in the informal sector, which in Brazil is estimated to be roughly half the country’s workforce.
Real wages in February 2006 were up 1.1% to an average US$ 463.88, compared to January. Compared to February 2005, the increase was 2.5%.