Brazil’s jobless rate dropped unexpectedly in April

People look at lists of job openings posted at an employment agency in downtown Sao Paulo Brazil

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in the three months through April from a record high, government data showed on Wednesday, in a sign the labor market could be stabilizing as the economy appears to be emerging from recession.

The jobless rate <BRPNAD=ECI> dipped to 13.6 percent from an all-time high of 13.7 percent in the period between January and March, statistics agency IBGE said, in contrast to market expectations in a Reuters poll for an increase to 13.9 percent.

Wages discounted for inflation rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier to an average of 2,107 reais ($649.41) per month.

“The labor market showed some early signs of stabilization,” wrote Alberto Ramos, Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs, adding that he expects a recovery to gain traction toward the end of the year unless a political crisis hurts the economy.

Brazil’s jobless rate had more than doubled since hitting a record low of 6.2 percent in 2013 as the economy plunged into a deep recession.

Data due out on Thursday is expected to show a mild recovery started in the first quarter, raising hopes of job creation and boosting President Michel Temer’s case for staying in office despite accusations he received bribes from the owners of JBS SA, the world’s biggest meatpacker.

Temer, who has resisted calls for his resignation, is under investigation by the Supreme Court for corruption and obstruction of justice.

($1 = 3.2445 reais)

(Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)