|Feb. 1, 2018 -- In 2017, Brazil saw an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent, the highest for five years, the government's official statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday.
The rate is almost twice as high as in 2014, when the unemployment rate stood at 6.8 percent.
According to IBGE, the number of unemployed people in Brazil stood at 13.2 million at its height last year. The number of people formally employed in the private sector totaled 33.3 million, down from 36.3 million in 2014.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, unemployment fell from 12.4 to 11.8 percent. However, despite this decrease, the quality of work has not improved, as the number of people in formal jobs did not increase.
According to IBGE, the number of people working in the private sector without formal contracts rose by 5.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching around 560,000.
According to IBGE analyst Cimar Azeredo, the sectors which traditionally employ a large number of workers laid people off in 2017, while informal sectors picked up the slack.
"In the past three years, the decrease (of jobs) was 10.4 percent in the agricultural sector, 11.5 percent in industry, and 12.3 percent in construction. Some of those losses were offset in areas in which employment is more informal, such as commerce, services, housing and the food industry," he said.
The average monthly income of Brazilian workers stood at 2,141 reals (about 672 U.S. dollars) in 2017, up 2.4 percent from 2016. However, compared to 2014, the figures had stagnated.