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SAO PAULO, May 20 (Reuters) - The world's largest meatpacker JBS SA laid off 650 workers and closed a plant in Brazil's Mato Grosso state due to the lack of cattle ready for slaughter, a state labor official and the company said on Wednesday.
JBS Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista said last week that the first three months of 2015 in Brazil were "quite challenging" due to high cattle prices, even as the company's overall profits soared to a quarterly record.
Official government data also showed Brazil's jobless rate rose to a three-year high in March as the country faces its worst recession in 25 years.
A local labor official said the closure of the plant would leave 3.3 percent of the population of the town of São José dos Quatro Marcos unemployed. A JBS press representative confirmed the closure of the plant by email. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)