Brazil’s unemployment rate has dropped to 10.5 percent in the quarter ending in April, per the country’s official statistics agency IBGE. The number is a 0.6-point drop from the previous month and the lowest rate since February 2016. The results beat expectations, with median unemployment forecasts at 10.9 percent.
The report also shows that 96.5 million Brazilians are currently employed — more than at any point in time. “We have observed a rise in formal employment, especially in retail, communication services, and in the financial sector,” says Adriana Beringuy, who oversees IBGE’s household surveys.
Still, the decline in Brazilians’ earnings continues. The average monthly revenue for workers in April sat at BRL 2,569 (USD 545) — stable from March but down by 8 percent from the same period last year.
Chances are conditions will not improve in the short term. The country’s economic uncertainty index measured by think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas has increased in May, due to the ripple effects of the continuing war in Ukraine and China’s deceleration — not to mention the country’s stubbornly high inflation.
Per economist Anna Carolina Gouveia, the scenario is hampered by families’ shrinking purchasing power and the government’s worsening fiscal situation.