RIO DE JANEIRO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's unemployment rate remains stable at 12.7 percent for the March to May 2018 quarter, the country's Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said on Friday.
The jobless rate fell very slightly from 12.9 percent of the previous quarter, and was also down compared to 13.3 percent in the same period of last year.
According to the IBGE's National Household Survey, the total number of unemployed people in Brazil was 13.2 million, down from 13.8 million at the same time in 2017.
IBGE representative Cimar Azeredo explained that the decrease was not related to an increase in employment, but to fewer people seeking employment. The number of people who reported being employed fell slightly from 53.9 to 53.6 percent in the period.
Azeredo said that despite initial impressions, the figures do not make for a favorable situation. He noted that the country's formal employment figures remain low, an indication that people are being informally employed because they are unable to find formal work.
"The unemployment rate remains stable, but the occupation levels are lower. In other words, you have fewer people working," Azeredo said.
"That is not a favorable position, especially when you associate it to the formal employment figures, which have fallen to their lowest level registered in the survey," he added.
According to Azeredo, Brazil has lost one million formal employment positions in the past year.
In the first quarter of 2018, a record 4.6 million people gave up seeking formal work after searching for a long time without success. But this number is not included in the unemployment figures, as only those actively seeking work are included.