Figures in Brazil show that 2.52 million new jobs were created last year, the Brazilian Labour Ministry reported.
The number surpassed the 1.61 million formal jobs the nation generated in 2007, which was the previous high until now, and contrasts with the 990,000 formal jobs created in 2009 when the country was still suffering the effects of the global economic crisis. This is the highest increase since the statistic began in 1992.
In the last two months of 2010, however, the number of layoffs was greater than the number of hirings and only created some 100,000 net new formal jobs, defined as positions with complete labour and social benefits.
The vigorous expansion of employment is attributed to the solid growth of the Brazilian economy in 2010, estimated at 7.3 percent, following the contraction of 0.6 percent in 2009.
While economists estimated that Brazil was going to end the year with 2.2 million new jobs, the Labour Ministry released a figure significantly higher.
Labour Minister Carlos Lupi said that with December’s results included, 15.04 million new formal jobs were generated in the country during the eight-year presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office January 1.
The minister said that with the Brazilian economy forecast to keep up its good performance, Brazil is likely to create close to 3 million new jobs in 2011, the first year of the Dilma Rousseff government.
The increase in formal jobs in 2010 helped reduce the official unemployment rate to 5.7 percent last month, the lowest figure for December in the last eight years. (EFE)