Brazil Jobless Rate Falls to 12.5% in 3-Month Period Through April

Brazil’s unemployment rate declined slightly in the three months through April as both the number of people with formal jobs and those working under the table increased.

Joblessness fell to 12.5% in the period, from 12.7% in the quarter ending March 31, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE said Friday.

Brazil’s weak economy, which shrank 0.2% in the first quarter from the fourth, has been struggling to create new jobs so far this year. Some economists say they expect growth to slowly recover in coming months, and that the pace of job creation should also gradually improve.

One issue holding back job creation has been that company plans for hiring and investment have often been on hold since the start of the year, as businesses wait to see the outcome of the new government’s efforts to overhaul Brazil’s insolvent pension system.

President Jair Bolsonaro sent a plan to Congress in February that his administration says will save the pension system more than 1 trillion reais ($251 billion) over 10 years, though most analysts expect the savings to be reduced by congressional haggling over the details of the proposal. The bill is still being debated in a committee in the lower house of the legislature.

The number of people employed in Brazil increased to 92.4 million in the three months through April, from 91.9 million in the three months through March. Workers with formally registered jobs rose to 33.1 million from 32.9 million, those working under the table increased to 11.2 million from 11.1 million and the number of self-employed increased to 23.9 million from 23.8 million, IBGE said.

Source: MorningStar