SAO PAULO – Unemployment in Latin America’s largest country is at its highest level since 2012, the Brazilian government said Thursday.
The country’s IBGE statistics bureau said that the jobless rate in the three months through January was 9.5 per cent, compared to the 6.8 per cent posted in the same period one year ago.
The number of people out of work by the end of January rose to 9.6 million — up 6 per cent from the previous three-month period.
IBGE said that 91.7 million people were employed during the three month period, 0.7 per cent less than in the August to October period, and that average monthly wages dropped from 1,988 reals to 1,939 reals.
Earlier this year, Brazil’s labour ministry said the country lost 1.5 million payroll jobs in 2015 amid a contracting economy that has led to high inflation and layoffs in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The ministry said that 39.7 million workers were formally employed at the end of last year, compared to 41.2 million at the end of 2014 and 40.8 million in 2013.
Most of the lost payroll jobs were in the industrial and civil construction sectors.