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Almost 3 Million People Will Go Without Unemployment Benefits This Year in Brazil

05/27/2016 - 09h53

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JOANA CUNHA
FELIPE MAIA
FROM SÃO PAULO

Mariana Tassi Barbosa, 28, has just received her last monthly unemployment welfare instalment.

The social media analyst, who has been out of work for the past eight months, has been using the welfare payment, supplied up until now by the government, to pay off the mortgage on the apartment that she bought with her partner.

As unemployment levels rise in Brazil, things are not looking up for those who have just lost the right to an unemployment allowance. The welfare payments are now only valid for five months of unemployment.

Along with Barbosa, another 542,400 people received their last welfare packets this month. The total number of those who have forgone the payments since the beginning of the year now reaches 2,862,000. Figures from the Ministry of Labour show this is 8% higher than during the same period of 2015 (2,650,000).

What makes matters worse is that, in the situation Brazil's economy is currently facing, jobs are disappearing faster than they can be generated. In April, the formal work market closed 62,844 jobs. That makes 13 consecutive months of job cuts.

According to the IBGE (The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), in February 30.9% of unemployed people in the six main metropolitan regions of the country had been out of the job market for more than six months. This is the highest rate for the month since 2006.

The unemployment insurance, which at its highest cashed in at R$1,542 (US$ 4,340), is generally used by most to cover basic expenses, such as food or medication.

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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