Brazil’s job market continues to beat forecasts

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New job market data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) show the country’s unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent after Q1 2024, up half a percentage point from the previous rolling quarter but still well below the 8.8 percent rate from a year ago. 

Analysts interpret the data as another sign of economic resilience not fully incorporated into their analysis models — as in previous months, the misalignment between forecasts and official data persists. LSEG consensus, for example, pointed to an 8.1 percent unemployment rate. 

The same goes for the formal market, which created 719,033 positions between January and March — the second-best result for the period, just behind 2021, when the post-pandemic rebound occurred. While official data show 244,315 formal jobs opened last month, median projections indicated no more than 193,000 new positions. 

“Today’s data confirms that the job market remains strong,” wrote Itaú, Brazil’s largest private bank, whose projections were even lower, of just 177,000 new formal jobs in March.

According to Adriana Beringuy, coordinator of IBGE’s household sample surveys — from which the unemployment data originates — the increase in the unemployment rate was mainly due to a greater number of people looking for job opportunities, a phenomenon that also happened in January and February and which is to…

Fabiane Ziolla Menezes

Former editor-in-chief of LABS (Latin America Business Stories), Fabiane has more than 15 years of experience reporting on business, finance, innovation, and cities in Brazil. The latter recently took her back to the classroom and made her a Master in Urban Management from PUCPR. At TBR, she keeps an eye on economic policy, game-changing businesses, and people driving innovation in Latin America.

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