May 31, 2019 / 12:34 PM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's jobless rate falls to 12.5% in April, first decline this year

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By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, May 31 (Reuters) - Brazil’s jobless rate fell to 12.5% in the three months through April, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, in line with market expectations and the first decline in five months.

The number of unemployed people fell to 13.2 million from 13.4 million in the three months to March, but that was still up from 12.6 million in the November-January quarter, IBGE said.

The fall in the unemployment rate will provide some relief for President Jair Bolsonaro, who has come under fire for the economy’s sub-par performance and rise in unemployment since he took office at the start of the year.

The levels of underemployment and workers leaving the workforce all together steadied in the three months to April, suggesting the labor market’s underlying conditions had stopped deteriorating, at least for now.

The rate of underemployment slipped to 24.9% from a series high of 25% in the three months to March, although again, that was still higher than the 24.2% recorded in the Nov-Jan quarter, IBGE said.

The percentage of people who had taken themselves out of the workforce fell to 4.4% from 4.8% in the Jan-March period, but that was still up from 4.2% in the Nov-Jan quarter. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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