RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Brazil recorded 13.5 percent unemployment in 2020, equivalent to 13.4 million people and the highest level since 2012, the state-run Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) reported on Friday.
Unemployment in the South American country grew 6.7 percent, or 840,000 people, last year compared to 2019, when the indicator was 11.9 percent, according to the IBGE.
During the quarter ending in December 2020, unemployment was 13.9 percent, down from 14.6 percent in the previous quarter, but higher than 11 percent for the same period in 2019.
The annual average of the employed population in 2020 was the lowest since 2012 at 86.1 million, as well as 7.9 percent lower compared to the 2019 average.
The IBGE also reported that the average informal employment rate went down from 41.1 percent in 2019 to 38.7 percent in 2020.
In terms of income, Brazil averaged 2,543 reais (about 462 U.S. dollars) last year, 4.7 percent higher than the previous year.
Brazil's unemployment rose in 2020 as a result of efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic such as quarantine measures and the closing of businesses. However, unemployment declined in the last months of 2020, coinciding with a slight recovery in economic activities, although this did not prevent it from closing at the highest level in eight years.