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UPDATE 1-Brazil's economy adds jobs in February for 1st time since 2015
March 16, 2017 / 8:06 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's economy adds jobs in February for 1st time since 2015

(Adds Temer comments, background)

BRASILIA, March 16 (Reuters) - 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 economy.

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 told journalists.

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 unemployment.

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)

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