September 30, 2016 / 1:02 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil's jobless rate rises to 11.8 pct in quarter through August

BRASILIA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s national unemployment rate rose to 11.8 percent in the three months through August , statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, slightly above expectations in a Reuters poll.

The median forecast of 13 economists surveyed by Reuters projected the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, up from 11.6 percent in the three months through July. Brazil’s jobless rate has risen sharply from 6.5 percent at the end of 2014 as the country entered its worst recession in at least eight decades.

Nearly 2 million Brazilians have lost their jobs over the last 12 months, according to Labor Ministry data, taking the total unemployed population to an estimated 12 million.

Wages discounted for inflation fell 1.7 percent from the same period in 2015 to an average of 2,011 reais ($618.92).

Economists expect Brazil’s unemployment rate to keep rising in coming months, limiting an expected economic recovery after two years of harsh recession. However, high unemployment has helped the central bank reduce inflation too, which may pave the way for interest rate cuts starting in October.

$1 = 3.2492 Brazilian reais Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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