Brazil registers record 14.4m unemployed

3 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

RIO DE JANEIRO: Pandemic-battered Brazil registered a record 14.4 million unemployed workers in the three-month period to February 2021, up two million from the year before, officials said Friday.

The unemployment rate for the period came in at 14.4 percent, said the national statistics institute IBGE. That was up from 11.6 percent the year before, when the coronavirus pandemic was just starting to be felt in Brazil, reports AFP.

Latin America’s biggest economy has been hit hard by Covid-19, which has devastated the country since the first case was confirmed in February 2020. “In one year of the pandemic, 7.8 million jobs were lost,” IBGE said in a statement.

The December-February jobless rate was up 0.2 percentage point from November-January, the second straight increase after four months of decline—the latest sign the Brazilian economy’s pandemic recovery could be in trouble.

“The new record in the unemployed population grabs one’s attention,” said analyst Andre Perfeito, of consulting firm Necton.