Contradicting Experts Brazilian Jobless Reach 10.7%. Worst in 15 months

Brazil’s unemployment rate for July, 10.7%, is the highest one in 15 months, according to data released today, August 24, by the IBGE, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. IBGE’s Monthly Research on Employment covers Brazil’s six largest metropolitan areas.

The new numbers contradict economists expectations who were predicting decline in the rate to 10.2% from its 10.4% position in June.

The jobless population – those looking for a job – stayed at 2.4 million in July, the same as in June. When compared  to July of 2005, however, there was an increase of 17,9% in the total of people without a job, meaning 368,000 more people in search of a job.

The data also show that workers’ income fell 0.7% in July when compared to June. The average income is 1,028.50 reais (US$ 480). On the other hand, there were 20.2 million with a job in July, 2.1% more than in July 2005.

The continuous lowering of Brazil’s key interest rate, which is at 14.75%, apparently was not enough to stimulate the economy creating new jobs. The high value of the real has contributed to the bad shape of the Brazilian agriculture and industry.

The government, however, blames the lower productivity on the days the population stopped work earlier to watch the Brazilian seleção playing in the World Cup.

Commenting on the latest IBGE numbers, Labor Minister, Luiz Marinho criticized the information: "I don’t know where the IBGE found these numbers," he said.

Marinho stated that the data cannot be trusted because they only cover a few metropolitan areas of the country while for the most part the new jobs are being created in the interior.

The IBGE is a respected institution, he added, but they have been discussing ways to widen their data collection in order to have a more faithful representation of the reality.

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