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UPDATE 1-Brazil jobless rate drops unexpectedly in May
June 21, 2012 / 12:36 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil jobless rate drops unexpectedly in May

* Jobless rate hits record low for month of May

* Unemployment falls below analyst expectations

* Real wages edge lower from previous month

SAO PAULO, June 21 (Reuters) - Brazil’s jobless rate fell unexpectedly in May, suggesting the labor market has remained largely immune to flagging growth in Latin America’s largest economy.

Brazil’s jobless rate fell to 5.8 percent in May from 6.0 percent in April, government statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday. It is the lowest unemployment rate on record for May since the data series began in 2002, according to IBGE.

The unemployment rate had been expected to remain unchanged at 6.0 percent, according to the median forecast of 15 economists surveyed by Reuters, none of whom forecast a rate as low as 5.8 percent.

The IBGE statistics agency reports the jobless data without seasonal adjustments. When accounting for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate has remained little changed since the end of last year.

Last month, the number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas surveyed rose 1.2 percent from April to 23 million people, up 2.5 percent from the year-ago period.

The tally of people who unsuccessfully looked for work remained unchanged in May from April at 1.4 million. The figure fell 7.1 percent from a year earlier.

Real wages, or salaries discounted for inflation, fell 0.1 percent month-on-month to 1,725.60 reais ($850.89), rising 4.9 percent from the year-earlier month.

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