(Adds Temer comments, background)
BRASILIA, March 16 Brazil added a net 35,612
payroll jobs in February, President Michel Temer said on
Thursday, in the first month of job creation since March 2015
after two years of a harsh recession in Latin America's largest
Temer, who has struggled to improve his popularity after
taking office last year, announced the results during a press
conference at the presidential palace. Payroll job growth data
are normally published by the Labor Ministry.
"Of course we have millions of Brazilians that are still
unemployed, but we have to start at some point. And we are doing
that now with the good news that I am bringing to you," Temer
The recession cost Brazil nearly 3 million jobs in the last
two years. Economists expect a mild economic recovery to start
in coming months as the central bank slashes interest rates, but
the pace of growth had been expected to be too weak to reduce
The International Labor Organization in a January report
forecast Brazil would cut an additional 1.2 million jobs this
year, more than a third of all job losses in the world.
Temer added that he can ensure that inflation will fall
below the official 4.5 percent target this year.
Service providers led job creation in February by adding
50,613 new job posts, according to Labor Ministry data.
Retailers and builders cut more than 30,000 jobs combined.
(Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by
Silvio Cascione; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Alistair Bell)