Unemployment in Brazil rises for 6th straight month

Sao Paulo, July 23 (IANS/EFE) Brazil’s unemployment rate rose in June for the sixth consecutive month to reach 6.9 percent, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE) reported on Thursday.

Joblessness was up 0.2 percent from May and by 2.1 percent compared with June 2014, the IBGE said.

The monthly figure reflects employment conditions in the country’s six largest metropolitan areas — Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife and Porto Alegre.

The IBGE is in the process of phasing out the monthly report in favour of the National Sample of Households Study — known as PNAD — a new, more rigorous measure of unemployment built on recommendations from the International Labour Organization.

The latest PNAD data, released two weeks ago, showed that unemployment in Latin America’s largest economy climbed to 8.1 percent during the March-May rolling quarter.

Growth in unemployment coincides with austerity measures adopted by the government of President Dilma Rousseff after 2014 ended with the first primary budget deficit in 13 years.

The austerity programme, which has yet to be fully approved by the Congress, features spending cuts and tax hikes, including an increase in payroll levies.

Brazil’s economy is expected to shrink by 1.4 percent this year, which would be the worst performance in 25 years.

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