Brazil’s Formal Job Growth in 2021 Tops One Million

July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021

BRASILIA—Job growth in Brazil accelerated sharply in May, official figures showed on Thursday, with formal jobs created almost double the consensus estimate to lift the total number of new positions opened this year above one million.

That marks the strongest pace of job growth since 2010, both for the month of May and the first five months of the year, according to the Economy Ministry.

“The Brazilian economy is rising, and most importantly, sectors that were hit really hard before, like services, are now leading the way,” Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said in an online address after the figures were released.

“This confirms that the recovery is broad-based, all sectors are creating new jobs, the pace is very strong, and we hope that measures we are taking will accelerate this process even further,” he said.

Some 1.55 million positions were created in May and 1.27 million were cut, resulting in 280,666 net new positions. That was well up from the previous month and almost double the median forecast of 150,000 new jobs in a Reuters poll of economists.

The gains were led by the services sector, which created a net 110,956 new positions. Commerce accounted for 60,480 net new positions, industry 44,146, and agriculture 42,526, the ministry said.

This means Brazil created a net 1.23 million new formal jobs in the first five months of the year. These figures do not include the nearly 40 million undocumented workers in Brazil who do not have formal employment registration.

The total number of formally registered workers in Brazil rose to 40.6 million in May, the highest May reading since 2015, according to ministry figures.

Earnings fell, however, with the average monthly salary of new jobs created in May down 4.1 percent in real terms from the prior month to an unadjusted 1,797.10 reais ($363).

Reporting by Jamie McGeever