Brazil's unemployment bureau Unemployment in Brazil remained steady at 9% with a growing tendency in March, having reached the highest since September 2007, when it was also 9%, reported the Brazilian Statistics and Geography Institute, IBGE.

    This is up from 8.5% in February and a jump from a year ago, 8.6%. In practical terms this means that 141.000 people lost their jobs last month, which means the total number of people seeking jobs has now reached 2.1 million.

    Brazil’s jobless total has been increasing despite Brazil's robust financial institutions along with aggressive government stimulus measures including tax and interest rate cuts.

    The Brazilian economy shrank 3.6% in the last quarter of 2008, and economists are forecasting 2009 will end with 0.5% contraction.

    Analysts expect unemployment to increase in the coming months because that's the way it goes every year at this time. This is a seasonal phenomenon. Unemployment in Brazil grows in the first six months of the year and then starts to go down again.

    Economists are wondering, however, how much more the lack of jobs will grow. Those most pessimistic are betting unemployment will soon reach 11% and. up.

    Mercopress/Bzz

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