Brazil Creates Fewest Jobs in October Since Lehman Collapse

Brazil’s economy created the lowest number of jobs in October since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, as the government struggles to spur growth in the world’s second-largest emerging market.

Brazil created 66,988 government-registered jobs in the month, the Labor Ministry announced today in Brasilia. That was lower than every estimate from 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median forecast was for 92,100 jobs. A year earlier, 126,143 jobs were created.

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has expanded stimulus measures to fuel the economy, which economists forecast will grow 1.5 percent this year. The unemployment rate has been close to record lows all year, as employers retain staff in expectation of a rebound. Even though Brazil’s labor market remains robust, flagging growth has translated into a slower rate of new hiring, said Leonardo Sapienza, chief economist at Banco Votorantim SA.

“This is a delayed impact from the weak economic growth that the country saw in the past few quarters,” Sapienza said in a telephone interview Sao Paulo. “It is much more of an accommodation than a reversal.”

Slow hiring in construction, public service and services drove down October’s number, said Rodolfo Torelly, interim secretary for public employment policy at Brazil’s Labor Ministry. “We were expecting a better result, around 100,000,” Torelly said to reporters in Brasilia today. “We were a little surprised.”

Brazil will create 1.4 million jobs this year, Torelly added. The ministry’s previous estimate was about 1.5 million.

The government-registered job creation report takes account of the number of posts created minus jobs eliminated. Registered jobs, or so-called formal work, assure employees benefits such as unemployment insurance, bonuses and government retirement payments.

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