The unemployment rate in Brazil fell from an average 7.1 percent in 2013 to 6.8 percent last year, according to a new indicator deemed more accurate than the traditional gauge, the government said Tuesday.
The quarterly survey of a representative sample of households in 3,464 cities is broader and more detailed than the standard monthly report, exclusively based on data from the country’s six largest metropolitan areas, which registered a jobless rate of 4.8 percent in 2014, the lowest since 2002.
The broad indicator showed an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 6.8 percent in the third quarter, but higher than the 6.2 percent recorded in the final three months of 2013.
The number of jobless people in Brazil fell from 6.7 million in the third quarter to 6.5 million in the October-December period, while the ranks of the employed increased by 993,000 to reach 92.9 million, the report said.
Unemployment among men stood at 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, but the rate among women was 7.7 percent.
By age, the unemployment rate was 14.1 percent for people 18-24, 6.3 percent among for workers 25-39, and 3.3 percent in the 40-59 demographic.
Unemployment was 11.6 percent for people without high-school diplomas, 6.8 percent among those with some college and 3.4 percent for college graduates.
Brazil has reduced unemployment to historic lows, despite a drop in demand for Brazilian exports and anaemic economic growth over the past few years.