RIO DE JANEIRO Ė Brazilís unemployment rate was 13.6 percent in the February-April period, with some 14 million people classified as jobless, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said Wednesday.
This is the highest unemployment rate for a three-month period ending in April since 2012, when the jobless rate was 7.8 percent, the IBGE said.
The unemployment rate during the period was slightly lower than in the first quarter of 2017, when it hit 13.7 percent, the highest level since 2012, but it was higher than in the three-month period ended Jan. 31, when the jobless rate was 12.6 percent.
During the February-April 2016 period, the unemployment rate came in at 11.2 percent, the IBGE said.
Brazilís high unemployment rate is a product of the severe recession that has affected the economy in recent years.
The South American countryís economy contracted 3.6 percent in 2016, remaining in recession for two consecutive years for the first time since 1930.
Brazilís economy, the largest in Latin America, contracted by 3.8 percent in 2015 and 0.10 percent in 2014.
Analysts are forecasting that the gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 0.49 percent this year and 2.48 percent in 2018.
President Michel Temer said recently that the government expected the job market to strengthen in the second half of this year.
Temer backs labor market reforms moving through Congress that would reduce employment costs, overhaul the way collective bargaining agreements are negotiated and weaken unions by eliminating mandatory dues.