(Adds details from IBGE report, background)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Brazil’s unemployment rate rose for a seventh straight month in July to the highest in over five years, government data showed on Thursday, underscoring expectations for a deep recession in 2015.
Brazil’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose in July to 7.5 percent from 6.9 percent in June, statistics agency IBGE said. The number exceeded the forecast of 7.05 percent in a Reuters poll of 16 economists.
The unemployment rate has risen without interruption from a record low of 4.3 percent in December, pushed up by hundreds of thousands of layoffs in the manufacturing and service sectors amid higher taxes and interest rates.
The number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas surveyed by IBGE was nearly unchanged from July 2014 at 22.8 million. The tally of people who unsuccessfully looked for work, however, jumped 56 percent from the same month a year earlier to 1.8 million.
Wages increased slightly in July, though not by enough to offset the losses caused by steadily rising inflation, currently at 9.56 percent on a trailing 12-month basis.
Salaries discounted for inflation gained 0.32 percent from June to 2,170.70 Brazilian reais ($618.43). They fell 2.39 percent from July 2014.
Brazil’s economy is expected to shrink 2.01 percent in 2015 and 0.15 percent in 2016 as President Dilma Rousseff’s government cuts spending and raises taxes to shore up public finances, according to a central bank poll published on Monday.
Mounting job losses have dragged down Rousseff’s popularity to record lows, according to recent polls. Most Brazilians favor her impeachment, less than a year after she was re-elected by a narrow margin. ($1 = 3.51 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by W Simon and JS Benkoe)