Brazil's unemployment rate hits 4-year high as recession bites

Brazil's unemployment rate rose to 11.3 percent in the second quarter, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, hitting a four-year high as Latin America's largest economy struggles with a crippling recession.

Ricardo Funari | Brazil Photos | Getty Images

The jobless rate was in line with the median forecast of 15 economists surveyed by Reuters. In a sign that Brazil's labor market faces even tougher times, most economists surveyed in a separate Reuters poll expect the unemployment rate will not start falling until 2018.

Brazil's jobless rate has risen sharply from 6.5 percent at the end of 2014 as the country entered its worst recession in decades. The IBGE reworked Brazil's labor market series in early 2012.

The economy, which contracted nearly 4 percent last year and is expected to shrink more than 3 percent this year, shed 91,032 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to rise further as companies continue to lay off workers amid plummeting demand.

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