(Adds details on wages, background)
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 26 (Reuters) - Brazil’s unemployment rate rose faster than expected for a second straight month in February, climbing to the highest since June 2013 as the country’s economy slipped closer to recession.
Brazil’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 5.9 percent last month, statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday, topping market expectations of 5.7 percent.
Real wages, or salaries discounted for inflation, fell 1.4 percent from January to an average of 2,163.20 reais ($680) a month. That was 0.5 percent lower than a year earlier.
The rapid deterioration of Brazil’s job market underscores expectations that Latin America’s largest economy is slipping into its worst recession in a quarter-century. It is also a major blow to President Dilma Rousseff, who narrowly won re-election in October, due in large part to low unemployment.
Factories, farms and services companies in Brazil shed jobs in February for a third consecutive month, according to a separate government report earlier this month.
The IBGE report showed the number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas surveyed fell 1.0 percent from January, to 22.8 million. The tally of people who unsuccessfully looked for work rose 10.2 percent from January, to 1.4 million.
The unemployment rate, as calculated by the IBGE, tallies jobs in the formal sector, where employees are legally registered, as well as off-the-books jobs. ($1 = 3.1825 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)