By Jamie McGeever
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s unemployment rate held steady at an all-time high of 14.7% in the three months through April, the figures showed on Wednesday, and the rate of deterioration in the labor market has continued to gradually decelerate over the past year. one year.
Although the unemployment rate was unchanged from the quarter ending in March, statistics agency IBGE’s comparisons with the three months through January indicated a softer market amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rodolfo Margato, an economist at brokerage XP (NASDAQ :), said that the labor market will continue to improve in the coming months due to “greater mobility, greater business confidence and more favorable growth prospects for the intensive services sector in the hands of construction site”.
That said, the workforce will only return to “normal levels” in the second quarter of next year and the unemployment rate will not fall below pre-pandemic levels until the second half of next year, he said.
The unemployment rate of 14.7% is the highest since the IBGE series began in 2012 and, as has been the case consistently for almost a year, less than 50% of the workforce has a job, showed the figures.
Chart: Unemployment in Brazil – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/ygdvzzdjdvw/PARO.png
Alberto Ramos of Goldman Sachs (NYSE 🙂 calculated that the unemployment rate would have been above 20% if the labor market participation rate had been the same as a year ago.
IBGE said that the number of officially unemployed people was 14.8 million, 489,000 more than in the three months to January. There are now 3.3 million fewer Brazilians working than before the pandemic more than a year ago, the IBGE said.
Some 85.9 million Brazilians had a job in April, IBGE said, with little change from the previous quarter, but a 3.7% decline, or 3.3 million people, from the same period last year.
The number of people completely out of the workforce held steady at 76.4 million, IBGE said, but that was more than 5.5 million people, or 7.7%, over the previous year.
The underemployment rate rose to 29.7% from 29.0% in the November-January period, the IBGE said.
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