Brazil's unemployment rate rose slightly to 12.2 percent in the quarter ending in January mainly due to seasonal effects, following consecutive falls, authorities said Wednesday.
The rate corresponded to a contingent of 12.7 million unemployed people in Brazil, said the country's official statistics agency Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The rate for the period from November to January was higher than the 11.8-percent unemployment rate registered in the quarter ending in December 2017. The IBGE attributed the rise to seasonal effects, as January usually sees many dismissals due to the end of contracts for workers in temporary Christmas jobs.
"We had ... consecutive falls in the unemployment rate, which means an improvement in the job market, but in January there was stability," said IBGE analyst Cimar Azeredo. "If not for the seasonal effects, the rate would have fallen."
The rise interrupted nine consecutive decreases in the unemployment rate since March last year, which registered a quarterly peak of 13.7 percent.
The number of people formally employed in the private sector was 33.3 million in the quarter ending in January, down 1.7 percent compared with the same period of last year, but it was not as high as the 2.5-percent fall registered in December 2017 compared with December 2016.
The average monthly income of Brazilian workers was 2,169 reals (669.4 US dollars) in January, which is stable compared with the same period of last year.