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Employers in Brazil last month added a net 123,446 jobs, following a net increase of 28,900 in January. This is according to the country’s labour ministry which announced the job data on Wednesday afternoon.
The increase in jobs beat expectations. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projected a lower net gain of 95,148 as the job report came as a surprise with the labour market turning out be stronger than expected. A recent survey showed employers anticipated deteriorating labour market conditions in the coming months despite unemployment falling to a record-low last year.
The new figures from the ministry now show that Brazil's formal job creation rose in February from the previous month, while job growth was still down -18% from the same time last year.
The Brazilian labour minister, Manoel Dias, said that the increase in jobs last month from the previous month may signal a recovery in the economy, after sluggish growth last year. “But it is still early to make speculations,” he said. Brazil’s economy grew by +0.9% in 2012, the worst performance in three years.
Most jobs in February were created in the service sector (82,061), followed by the industrial (33,466) and construction sector (15,636). The region posting the highest growth was the Southeast and the South while job growth slowed in the Northeast of the country.