(Adds details on wages, background)
By Silvio Cascione
BRASILIA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Brazil’s unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in November from a six-year high, government data showed on Thursday, in a surprise sign of the resilience of Latin America’s largest job market in the middle of a deep recession.
Brazil’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell in November to 7.5 percent, from 7.9 percent in October, statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday. The median forecast in a Reuters poll of 23 economists projected an unemployment rate of 8.0 percent in November.
Unemployment has jumped from a record low of 4.3 percent in December 2014 as companies laid off hundreds of thousands of workers after the economy fell into recession. Many analysts have said the jobless rate could reach 10 percent next year.
Salaries have also fallen sharply and November was no exception. Wages discounted for inflation fell 1.3 percent from October and 8.8 percent from November 2014, IBGE said, to an average of 2,177.20 reais ($558.59) per month.
Brazil’s economy is expected to shrink nearly 4 percent this year and by a further 3 percent in 2016, in the longest forecast downturn for Latin America’s biggest country since the 1930s.
The cooling of Brazil’s job market has not yet helped the central bank to bring inflation under control. Consumer prices rose more than 10 percent in the 12 months to November , more than double the government’s target.
The number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas surveyed by IBGE fell 3.7 percent from November 2014 to 22.5 million. The tally of people who unsuccessfully looked for work jumped 53.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.8 million.
$1 = 3.8977 Brazilian reais Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Gareth Jones