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29 April, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Brazilian unemployment rises for third month to 13.1pc

AFP

Joblessness in Brazil rose for the third straight month in March to 13.1 percent, the government statistics office said Friday, underlining the difficulty of recovering from the country’s worst ever recession, reports AFP from Rio De Janeiro.

The rate for the three-month period ending in March rose from 12.6 per cent recorded in February.

It means there are now 13.7 million people officially out of work, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics said.

Compared to the last quarter of 2017, when unemployment dipped to 11.8 percent, that means there are another 1.4 million more people without jobs.

The 13.1 per cent rate is still below the peak of 13.7 per cent recorded in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts also say that first quarter surges in unemployment are typical in Brazil, reflecting the end of large numbers of seasonal jobs ahead of the Christmas-New Year’s period.

“It’s clearly quite high, but it’s seasonal, linked to the end of contracts made at the end of the year,” said Alex Agostini, chief economist at risk analysis consultancy Austin Rating.

But the figures are still bad news for conservative President Michel Temer’s unpopular government.

The worst recession on record in Latin America’s biggest economy saw unemployment shoot up from just 6.5 per cent at the end of 2014 to the high of 13.7 per cent a year ago, before steadily declining.

The gradual reversal of that improving trend seen so far this year demonstrates the pain for ordinary people, despite IMF predictions of 2.3 per cent GDP growth in 2018.

The high joblessness and erosion of job security are likely to feature strongly in the presidential campaigns ahead of October elections.

“The country is exiting recession and (the figures) are not at all a cause for concern,” Agostini said. But “employment is the first variable to suffer and the last to recover.”

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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