Brazil’s unemployment rate rose to almost 13 percent in the March-May quarter as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic saw a record 7.8 million jobs cut, according to official figures published on Tuesday.
Unemployment rose by 1.3 percentage points from the December-February quarter and 0.6 points compared with the same quarter last year, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said.
It was the biggest loss of jobs in Brazil since record-keeping began in 2012.
“It’s an unprecedented reduction and mainly affects informal workers,” said IBGE analyst Adriana Beringuy.
Of the 7.8 million jobs lost, 5.8 million were in the informal sector of people who get paid off the books, which accounts for 37.6 percent of workers in this country.
Employment fell by 8.3 percent to 49.5 percent, another record.
The government is looking into extending an aid package it provides for informal workers and the most affected families that began in April and is worth 600 reales ($111) a month.
Lockdown measures imposed by various states have also resulted in 1.2 million domestic workers losing their jobs, said IBGE, which estimates there to be five million people employed in such service in Brazil.
More than 1.3 million Brazilians have contracted the coronavirus, with over 58,000 having died from it.
Industrial production in Latin America’s biggest economy fell by more than 25 percent in March and April.
The International Monetary Fund expects the Brazilian economy to shrink by over nine percent in 2020.