By Samantha Pearson
SAO PAULO--Brazil's unemployment rate rose in the three months through September as more people started searching for work again after cities lifted lockdowns.
The jobless rate reached 14.6% in the three months through September, from 14.4% in the three months through August and 11.8% in the year-earlier period, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE said Friday.
Brazil's government has given out as much as $10 billion a month in handouts to the country's poor during the pandemic, one of the most generous programs of any developing nation. While the spending spree has raised concerns over the country's debt, it has helped preserve the economy as the coronavirus has ravaged Brazil, killing more than 170,000 people.
As more Brazilians return to the job market, the unemployment rate has continued to rise but data on job creation shows the country's crucial service sector is already returning to growth.
The Economy Ministry said Thursday that the economy created almost 395,000 net formal jobs in October, the fourth month in a row of gains.
"Brazil has successfully used fiscal policy to tame the economic effects of the pandemic. GDP growth will likely retreat 'just' 4.2% this year, but we estimate public debt will increase about 16 percentage points to 92% of GDP, one of the highest levels in emerging markets," UBS analysts said in a note this week. The bank said it expects Latin America to suffer a 7.9% economic contraction this year.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires