* Second-lowest jobless rate ever recorded in Brazil
* Real wages rise 5.3 percent from year earlier
By Silvio Cascione
SAO PAULO, Dec 21 Brazil's jobless rate fell more than expected
in November and edged closer to an all-time low, government data showed on
The jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5.3 percent in
October, government statistics agency IBGE said.
That was the second-lowest rate recorded in Brazil since the beginning of
the current data series in March 2002. Unemployment hit an all-time low of 4.7
percent in December of last year.
November's unemployment rate was below the median forecast of 5.1 percent in
a Reuters survey of 29 economists. The estimates ranged from 4.8 percent to 5.5
The number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas
surveyed remained unchanged from October at 23.5 million people, up 2.8 percent
from a year earlier.
The number of people who unsuccessfully looked for work fell 8.0 percent
from October and remained unchanged from a year earlier.
Real wages, or salaries discounted for inflation, rose 0.8 percent from
October to an average of 1,809.60 reais ($871), gaining 5.3 percent from the
Despite disappointing economic growth in the past two years, unemployment
has remained low in Brazil. While that has helped maintain a robust market for
goods and services, it has also resulted in rising labor costs, piling pressure
onto the country's flagging industries.
Factories, farmers and retailers added a net 46,095 payroll jobs
in November, the Labor Ministry said earlier this week. Net payroll
job growth in the commercial sector increased 1.27 percent from the previous
month, helping offset layoffs in building and farming.