Economy

Brazil's jobless rate rises and Chile's unemployment eases to 11.6%

While Brazil's unemployment rate rose to a record high, Chile unemployment eased but remains near decade-long high

A woman looks at job listings posted on a light pole in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 30, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli/File Photo
  • Brazil’s jobless rate was up from 14.4% in the three months to August;
  • The unemployment rate in Brazil at the end of last year was 11.0%.

Brazil’s unemployment rate rose to a record high 14.6% in the three months to September, official figures showed on Friday, as the easing of COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown measures encouraged people to look for work again. On the other hand, Chile’s rolling three-monthly unemployment rate eased for a third consecutive month to 11.6% in August through October, the government said on Friday.

The unemployment rate in Chile remained however significantly above the same period the previous year as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the economy.

In Brazil, that was up from 14.4% in the three months to August, although it was lower than the 14.9% economists had expected. The unemployment rate at the end of last year was 11.0%.

READ ALSO: Brazil creates record 394,989 formal jobs in October

The headline 14.6% unemployment rate was the highest since statistics Brazil’s agency IBGE’s series began in 2012.

Underlying figures were also weak despite other data recently that showed record formal job growth and the economy continuing to rebound.

The number of Brazilians out of the workforce completely and the underemployment rate remained near record highs, while the number of people with jobs and the share of the working population in work remained near record lows, IBGE said.

READ ALSO: Brazil current account deficit shrinks to smallest since February 2018

The workforce of 96.5 million people was 1 million higher than the three months through August, but still 9.8 million or 9.2% smaller than the same period last year, IBGE said.

The number of people in work was 82.5 million, down 12.1%, or 11.3 million people, from the same period last year.

Only 47.1% of working-age people were working in the three months to September, IBGE said, down 7.7 percentage points from the same period last year.

Some 78.6 million people were out of the workforce completely, down slightly from the three months to August but up 21.2%, or 13.7 million people, from the same period last year, IBGE said.

The number of Brazilians officially out of work rose to 14.1 million, and the number of underemployed was 33.2 million, IBGE said. The underemployment rate was 30.3%.

Figures on Thursday showed that a record net 395,000 formal jobs were created in October. The dominant services sector, which had been hardest hit by social distancing measures, led the charge with a net 157,000 new jobs.

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