June 29, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil May jobless rate above expectations

(Adds poll expectations, context)

BRASILIA, June 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s jobless rate fell to 12.7 percent in the three months through May, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, above market expectations as the country’s labor market recovery has been slower than anticipated.

The unemployment rate slipped from 12.9 percent in an April reading, but stood above the median in a Reuters poll of economists that predicted a 12.6 percent unemployment rate through May.

The labor market’s recovery from the deepest recession in decades has lagged expectations, with job gains concentrated among off-the-books postings — which do not grant access to work benefits.

Formal employment has yet to show signs of heating up, an indication that Brazil’s slow and uneven economic recovery may take a while before trickling down to the labor market.

This has kept a lid on price pressures, with inflation hovering below the central bank’s target for months. This allowed policymakers to keep interest rates at a record low even as the Brazilian real slumped to the weakest in two years, pushing up import prices. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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