* Lowest rate for the month in more than a decade
* Wages drop 0.2 percent from March as prices weigh
By Silvio Cascione
SAO PAULO, May 23 (Reuters) - Brazil’s jobless rate rose slightly in April for the fourth straight month but remained near record lows, suggesting that tight labor conditions bolstered a gradual recovery and fed into inflation, statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday.
Brazil’s jobless rate rose unexpectedly to 5.8 percent from 5.7 percent in March. The number was above the median forecast of 5.6 percent in a poll of 23 economists.
Despite the uptick, that was the lowest jobless rate for the month of April since the beginning of the data series in 2002. In April last year, Brazil’s jobless rate stood at 6.0 percent.
Although Brazil’s economic slowdown in the past two years had muted impact on the labor market, the pace of job creation has slowed in recent months, suggesting that the unemployment rate will not fall further in coming months.
Brazil’s economy added a net 196,913 payroll jobs in April, the Labor Ministry said on Tuesday, down from 216,974 a year earlier.
The IBGE report showed the number of Brazilians with jobs in the six major metropolitan areas surveyed stood at 22.9 million, unchanged from March and from April last year. The tally of people who unsuccessfully looked for work remained unchanged as well at 1.4 million. (Report, in Portuguese:)
Real wages, or salaries discounted for inflation, fell 0.2 percent from March to an average of 1,862.40 reais ($908) a month. That was up 1.6 percent from a year earlier.
The unemployment rate, as calculated by the IBGE, tallies jobs in the formal sector, where employees are legally registered, as well as off-the-books jobs in the so-called informal sector.