Brazil’s job growth in February easily beats expectations

Young men look at job listings posted on a street in Sao Paulo
FILE PHOTO: Young men look at job listings posted on a street in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

March 29, 2022

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil created a net 328,507 formal jobs in February, Labor Ministry figures showed on Tuesday, well above market expectations, amid positive data in all sectors and a substantial contribution from service activities.

Economists in a Reuters poll forecast 210,000 jobs would be created in Latin America’s largest economy last month.

The figure, however, came below the 397,463 jobs created in February 2021, according to adjusted figures.

The Economy Ministry has been saying that job creation would help fuel an improving economy in 2022, though analysts continue to predict a severe negative impact on activity from double-digit interest rates and high inflation.

A net 215,421 jobs were created in the services sector in February, with industry gaining 43,000. There were 39,453 net jobs created in construction, 17,415 in agriculture and 13,219 in commerce.

The figures do not include the country’s nearly 40 million undocumented workers, who do not have formal employment registration.

The number of formally registered workers rose to 41.2 million in February, an increase of 0.8% from the previous month, the ministry said.

In the first two months of this year, a net 478,862 jobs were created, down from 651,756 in the same period last year.

The average monthly salary for new jobs created fell 3.15% from January to 1,879 reais ($395.41), the government said.

($1 = 4.7520 reais)

(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; editing by Ed Osmond and Paul Simao)