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Brazil strike may delay release of July jobless rate
August 21, 2012 / 5:27 PM / 5 years ago

Brazil strike may delay release of July jobless rate

* June jobless rate has not been published yet due to strike

* Data release scheduled for Thursday, 9 a.m. (1200 GMT

* Median of 17 forecasts points to 5.8 pct rate in July

SAO PAULO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - A partial strike in Brazil’s statistics agency may postpone the release of July’s national jobless rate, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday.

It would be the second delay in a row for the indicator, which is key to assess whether Brazil, the world’s sixth-largest economy, is well-placed for a rebound in coming months.

July’s job market report is currently scheduled for Thursday, at 9 a.m. local time (1200 GMT). Economists expect a 5.8 percent unemployment rate on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the median of 17 forecasts, the same level registered in May.

June’s national data has not been published yet because the strike has affected the analysis of job market data from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city and host of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Only regional data for other cities were released last month, which may occur again this time, the spokeswoman said.

The strike is part of a wider government workers’ campaign for salary rises. Protests began with professors walking out of federal universities in May and have already affected a broad range of services, from inspections of grain exports to security controls in airports.

President Dilma Rousseff has resisted so far, saying the government must tighten its belt to make room for low interest rates to allow higher growth rates.

Economic activity in Brazil rose at the fastest pace in 15 months in July, fueling hopes of a recovery after a near-recession in the past few quarters.

Brazil’s main growth engines have been strong retail sales and services growth, boosted by low unemployment levels.

If the analysts’ median forecast for July unemployment is confirmed, that would be the lowest rate for the month since the current data series was introduced in 2001. It would compare to an all-time low of 4.7 percent hit in December.

Estimates for the rate ranged from 5.5 to 6.0 percent. Brazil’s unemployment rate is taken from a survey conducted in six of Brazil’s largest urban areas.

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