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LatinNews Daily - 01 March 2021

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In brief: Unemployment in Brazil remains at record highs

* Brazil’s national statistics institute (Ibge) has released the country’s latest unemployment figures, which show that the unemployment rate stood at 13.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This represents an improvement on the 14.6% unemployment rate recorded in Q3 2020, but is still the highest figure for this period in current records (begun in 2012), and is 2.9 percentage points above the unemployment rate in Q4 2019, before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit. The final quarter of 2020 saw the number of self-employed and informal workers increase compared with Q3, while the working-age population outside of the workforce decreased, reflecting the impact on the labour market of the continuous loosening of restriction measures against Covid-19 over the course of last year. Across 2020 as a whole, the unemployment rate averaged 13.5%, the highest figure since 2012, and equivalent to around 13.4m people looking for work.