BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s economy added just under 121,000 formal jobs in April, official figures showed on Wednesday, lifting the total new positions created in the first four months of the year to almost 1 million.
The pace of job creation, however, appears to be slowing. The 120,935 net new positions in April was lower than the 172,500 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and aside from a shock slump in December it was the lowest in 10 months.
Economy Paulo Guedes put that down to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic peaking. Compared to April last year when the first wave peaked and almost 1 million jobs were cut, Guedes said the outlook remains bright.
“The solution is to proceed with economic reforms and mass vaccinations, to ensure a safe return to work,” Guedes said in an online address. “It is hugely important that we maintain this rate of job growth to ensure we don’t have economic scarring.”
Some 1.38 million positions were created in April and 1.26 million were cut. This means Brazil created a net 957,889 new formal jobs in the first four months of the year, the most for any Jan-April period in at least a decade.
These figures do not include the near-40 million undocumented workers in Brazil who do not have formal employment registration.
The figures for April were led by the services sector, which created a net 57,610 new positions, around half of the total. Construction accounted for 22,224 net new positions and industry 19,884, the ministry said.
The total number of formally registered workers in Brazil rose to 40.3 million in April, the highest April reading since 2015, according ministry figures.
Earnings rose too, with the average monthly salary of new jobs created up 2.5% in real terms from the prior month to an unadjusted 1,855.52 reais ($350).
($1 = 5.30 reais) (This story removes extraneous word from headline, no change to content of story)
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)