Brazil unemployment insurance claims jump 35% in first two weeks of June

BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) – New unemployment insurance claims in Brazil rose by 351,315 in the first two weeks of June, Economy Ministry figures showed on Thursday, a 35% increase on the same period last year and a reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the jobs market.

That figure was down 23% from the number of claims made in the last two weeks of May, however, suggesting there may have been the beginnings of a labor market recovery in June.

Jobless insurance claims had surged by almost 1 million in May, a record rise for any month since the series began 20 years ago.

The rise in the first two weeks of June brought total claims so far this year up to 3.65 million, an increase of 14% on the same period last year, the ministry said.

Some 71.4% of the claims in the first two weeks of June were done online, the ministry said, compared with 0.7% a year ago, because of social isolation and quarantine measures.

Brazil’s unemployment rate in the three months to April stood at 12.6%. Official unemployment data for May will be released next week.

Figures released by statistics agency IBGE this week showed that nearly 10 million Brazilian workers did not receive their wage or salary in May, and 19 million registered employees were kept away from their place of work.

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