Economy

Brazil creates over 400,000 formal jobs in February, highest on record

The number was led by a surge in the dominant services sector, responsible for over two-thirds of all economic activity in Brazil

In the photo, pedestrians wearing masks walk on the streets of the city of São Paulo.
In the photo, pedestrians wearing masks walk on the streets of the city of São Paulo. Photo: Rovena Rosa/Agencia Brasil
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  • Some 1.69 million positions were created and 1.29 million were cut, the ministry said, meaning that in the first two months of this year the economy created a net 659,780 formal jobs, also the highest in years;
  • Earnings fell, however. The average monthly salary of new jobs created in February fell to an unadjusted 1,727.04 reais ($298), the lowest in at least a year.

Brazil‘s economy added a net 401,639 formal jobs in February, Economy Ministry figures showed on Tuesday, the highest monthly figure since the data series began in 1992, led by a surge in the dominant services sector.

Some 1.69 million positions were created and 1.29 million were cut, the ministry said, meaning that in the first two months of this year the economy created a net 659,780 formal jobs, also the highest in years.

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“These figures show that we are definitely on the right road with regard to the recovery of economic activity,” Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said in an online address after the data were released. “The services sector is really coming back too.”

Since then, however, a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through Brazil, pushing the death toll to record levels and the public health system to breaking point. Lockdown measures have been reinstated across large parts of the country.

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A net 173,547 new services jobs were created in February, the data showed. This sector accounts for over two-thirds of all economic activity in Brazil, and is most sensitive to lockdown and social distancing restrictions.

Industry created over 90,000 new jobs in February and retail almost 70,000, the Economy Ministry said, adding that the total number of formally registered workers in Brazil rose above 40 million.

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Historical data on the central bank’s website showed that the last time this happened was August 2015.

Earnings fell, however. The average monthly salary of new jobs created in February fell to an unadjusted 1,727.04 reais ($298), the lowest in at least a year.

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