Brazil Unemployment Jumped to 7.9% in First Quarter

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The FINANCIAL — Brazil’s unemployment rate rose in the first quarter of 2015 as weak economic growth hit job creation, according to Nasdaq.

The jobless rate increased to 7.9% in the quarter, from 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, the country’s statistics agency said on May 7. The numbers come from a new unemployment report the agency started releasing in March, and isn’t directly comparable to the agency’s other jobs report, which gives a figure for just the month.

Brazil’s gross domestic product barely expanded in 2014, and economists expect a contraction for this year. With the economy sputtering, the number of employed people is now declining, according to the report.

The number of workers with jobs fell to 92.02 million in the first quarter, from 92.88 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The number of people seeking work rose to 7.93 million in the first quarter, from 6.45 million in the fourth quarter

In the first quarter of last year, the unemployment rate was at 7.2%, while the number of employed was at 91.25 million, the agency said.

The new report gives figures for a rolling three-month period. Last month’s report showed a jobless rate of 7.4% in the three months through February.

The new report is based on surveys by the agency throughout the whole country, while the older report is calculated from surveys carried out only in six of Brazil’s biggest metropolitan areas. The agency plans to stop releasing the older report next January.


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