Lukewarm January jobs report brings more signs of slowdown

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Brazil added nearly 83,300 formal jobs in January, according to data released by the Labor Ministry on Thursday. That’s the lowest total for January since 2020, and 50 percent lower than a year prior. (Older data are not directly comparable due to a change in methodology).

Retail was the only sector where layoffs outpaced hiring. The services sector, which is the backbone of the economy, was the best performer in the first month of the year, adding 40,000 formal employees.

Despite a spate of layoffs by Big Tech companies, the ICT sector remained stable in terms of formal employment (a slight positive change of 0.09 percent was observed in January).

While entry wages ticked up in January, that is usually the case in earlier months of a year. Meanwhile, exit wages have been on a downward trend. 

On the one hand, this could reflect the willingness of workers to change jobs in search of better conditions and pay (the number of people quitting their jobs is at a historically high level), but on the other hand, it could indicate a weakening trend in the job market, with layoffs also affecting low-paid workers.

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