UPDATE 1-Brazil registers strongest August formal job growth in a decade

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BRASILIA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Formal job creation in Brazil accelerated sharply in August, figures showed on Wednesday, as industry and manufacturing led the strongest job growth in a decade for that month and services finally showed signs of a recovery in employment.

A net 248,388 formal jobs were created in August, the economy ministry said, marking the second month in a row of job gains and almost double the 130,000 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

It was the highest figure for any August since 2010 when 299,415 jobs were created, and reduced the net number of formal job losses in the first eight months of this year to 849,387.

In the month, 1.24 million jobs were created and 990,090 were cut.

Industry led the way with 92,893 new jobs, followed by construction (50,489), trade (49,408), services (45,412) and agriculture (11,213), the figures showed.

Services, which account for around 70% of economic activity in Brazil, had been shedding jobs recently even as industry, manufacturing and construction had been recovering from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes welcomed the numbers and noted that all sectors were now generating jobs, evidence that Brazil’s economy was making a V-shaped recovery.

Official labor market data for the three months to July released earlier on Wednesday painted a bleaker picture, however, with the unemployment rate rising to a high of 13.8%.

Figures from statistics agency IBGE showed that a record number of Brazilians had left the workforce completely, that a record low number of a share of the working population had a job, and that the underemployment rate was at an all-time high.

Alberto Ramos, head of Latin American research at Goldman Sachs, said that if the labor-force participation rate in July had held steady from the same month last year, the unemployment rate would be 24.1%. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever, Isabel Versdiani and Marcela Ayres; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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