June 30, 2017 / 1:49 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's jobless rate falls unexpectedly for 2nd month in May

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RIO DE JANEIRO, June 30 (Reuters) - Brazil’s jobless rate fell unexpectedly in the three months through May, data showed on Friday, in an early sign of improvement as the economy slowly emerges from recession.

Brazil’s unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent from 13.6 percent in the three months through April, statistics agency IBGE said. Economists in a Reuters poll expected the jobless rate to stay unchanged.

It was the second straight month of a surprise drop in Brazil’s unemployment rate after it hit a record 13.7 percent in the period between January and March.

Economists have been forecasting a much slower recovery in Brazil’s job market after the worst recession in the country’s history left more than 14 million workers unemployed.

Brazil resumed growth in the first quarter, but officials and economists recently cut their estimates for this year’s expansion rate after a corruption scandal threatened to topple President Michel Temer’s year-long administration.

“We expect the labor market dynamics to stabilize during the second half of 2017 and to start to recover towards the end of the year,” wrote Alberto Ramos, head of Latin America economic research at Goldman Sachs.

Wages discounted for inflation rose 2.3 percent from a year earlier to an average of 2,109 reais ($637.76) per month.

Brazil’s jobless rate more than doubled during the recession from a record low of 6.2 percent in 2013.

$1 = 3.3069 reais Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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