Brazil reports 12.3 million unemployed in February

The figure is up from previous quarters

Published in 31/03/2020 - 12:55 By Akemi Nitahara - Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s unemployment rate interrupted a streak of two quarters with a sharp decline and went up to 11.6 percent in the quarter ending in February. The unemployed in Brazil add up to 12.3 million people.

The figures can be found in the Continuous PNAD (National Household Sample Survey), released today (Mar. 31) by the government’s statistics agency IBGE. The rate for the quarter ending in November was 11.2 percent.

Research analyst Adriana Beringuy said the surge comes as a result of expected seasonal market dynamics.

“It’s normal to see this interruption early in the year, because we had reported falling rates late last year. We didn’t see this change in January, but it did come in February, driven by a reduction in the amount of people employed and an increase in the amount of people looking for a job.”

She points out that, unlike what usually takes place in the beginning of the year, when employees temporarily hired for the Christmas season are let go, trade was not responsible for the increase in unemployment. The growth was pulled by construction (-4.4%), which failed to sustain the recovery that came about late last year.

Year on year, unemployment showed a decline compared to the quarter ending in February 2019, when the rate stood at 12.4 percent.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Nira Foster

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