Brazil's jobless rate fell to 4.7% in December from 5.2% in November, the lowest rate since record-keeping began in March 2002

SAO PAULO , January 26, 2012 () – The unemployment rate was estimated at 4.7% in December of 2011, the lowest rate for December and the lowest rate in the time series of the Monthly Employment Survey (PME), started in March of 2002. It dropped 0.5 p.p. in relation to the result of November (5.2%) and 0.6 p.p. compared with December of 2010 (5.3%).

As a result, the rate of unemployment stayed at 6.0% on the average of the 12 months of 2011, the lowest annual average, 0.8 p.p. below that of 2010 (6.7%) and 6.4 p.p. below that of 2003 (12.4%).

The unemployed population in December of 2011 (1.1 million people) dropped 9.5% in relation to November (less 119 thousand people) and 9.4% in relation to December of 2010 (less 118 thousand people). In 2011, the unemployed persons accounted for 1.4 million people on average, 10.4% less than in 2010 (1.6 million), representing less 166 thousand unemployed persons in one year. In relation to 2003, the volume of unemployed persons (2.6 million) dropped 45.3%, that is, the reduction hit 1.2 million people in this period.

The employed population (22.7 million ) remained unchanged in relation to November and increased by 1.3% in relation to December of 2010, accounting for a rise of 283 thousand employed persons in a 12-month interval. On the average of 2011, the employed persons totaled 22.5 million people, 2.1% more than in 2010 (22.0 million) and 21.3% more than in 2003.

The number of workers with an employment record card (a type of Brazilian document that contributes to make work relationships formal) in the private sector (11.2 million) remained unchanged compared with November and grew 6.0% in relation to December of 2010, accounting for more 638 thousand jobs with an employment record card in this period. These results led to a record in the proportion of workers with an employment record card (10.9 million) on the average of 2011 in relation to the total employed persons: 48.5%, against 46.3% in 2010 and 39.7% in 2003.

The employed persons’ real average income usually earned (R$ 1,650.00, the highest value for December since 2002) rose by 1.1% compared with November. Against December of 2010, the employed persons’ purchasing power grew 2.6%. The annual average of the monthly average income usually earned in the main job was estimated at R$ 1,625.46 (approximately three minimum wages), accounting for a growth of 2.7% in relation to 2010. Between 2003 and 2011, the purchasing power resulting from work income increased by 22.2%.

The per capita household income increased by 3.8% between 2010 and 2011. Between 2003 and 2011, the growth reached 35.5%.

The volume of income usually earned (R$ 37.8 billion) increased by 0.7% in relation to November. Compared with December of 2010, the volume grew 3.4%. The employed persons’ volume of effective real income (R$ 40.9 billion) estimated in November of 2011, rose by 9.3% in the month and 7.1% in the year.

The volume of the monthly real income usually earned (annual average), estimated at R$ 36.9 billion for 2011 in the six metropolitan regions, led to an increase of 4.8% in relation to 2010 and of 47.9% compared with 2003.

The Monthly Employment Survey is conducted in the metropolitan regions of Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre. The complete publication can be accessed at

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