Brazil jobless rate hits all-time low

Joblessness in Brazil, the world`s seventh largest economy, averaged 4.8 percent in 2014, a historic low despite slowing economic growth and rising inflation.

Brasília: Joblessness in Brazil, the world`s seventh largest economy, averaged 4.8 percent in 2014, a historic low despite slowing economic growth and rising inflation.

The Brazilian Geographic and Statistics Institute said unemployment in December was 4.3 percent, the same as in December 2013, but the annual average was down from 5.4 percent the year before.

The unemployment rate since 2002 has been based on surveys of the country`s six main cities -- Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre.

The stronger than expected employment figures come as Brazil`s economy is having difficulties, with growth near zero last year.

Since 2010, the economy has slowly sharply after a period of surging expansion fueled by high prices for commodities and natural resources.

Inflation in 2014 reached 6.41 percent, just below the government`s maximum target of 6.5 percent.

Brazil`s leftist president Dilma Rousseff, who was re-elected in October, has responded by paring back the budget while promising to protect social programs for the working class.

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