Brazil’s unemployment rate fell to 10.5% for the three months from February to April, the lowest for the period since 2015, the government said Tuesday, a positive development for the country which has been struggling with weak growth and high inflation.
The figure, a drop of 0.7 percentage points from the three months to January, came in lower than expected – welcome news for Latin America’s biggest economy.
Analysts polled by business daily Valor had forecast the rate would be 10.9% for the sliding three-month period.
Despite the improvement, there are still 11.3 million jobless workers in the country of 213 million people.
And 40% of those who have jobs are employed in the low-paying informal sector.
Brazilians have been hurting from sharp price increases. The annual rate currently stands at 12.13%, far above the central bank’s target of 3.5%.
The economy has turned into a liability for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is up for reelection in October.
Some 54% of Brazilians say the country’s economic situation will have a big impact on their vote, according to a recent poll from the Datafolha institute.
The same poll found Bolsonaro trailing leftist ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with 27% of the vote to 48% for the long-standing front-runner.