Brazil job creation jumps in April as smashes forecasts

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's economy added a net 129,601 jobs in April, the economy ministry said on Friday, well above forecasts and the best rise for the month in six years, marking a strong rebound from a shock fall the month before.

The median estimate of a Reuters poll of economists was for a net addition of 80,000 jobs, and the rise brings the total number of jobs created in the first four months of the year up to 313,835, the ministry said.

Services, manufacturing and construction accounted for most of the job growth, but gains were registered across the board. Services alone accounted for 66,290 new positions, just over half the net job creation.

The best result for the month of April since 2013, according to the ministry's data, provided some relief to financial markets. Brazil's real extended gains to hit 4.0150 per dollar, on course for its best week in almost four months BRBY.

The figures will also provide some welcome relief for President Jair Bolsonaro, who has seen his poll ratings slump in large part due to the sluggish economy. The government this week cut its 2019 growth forecast to 1.6% from 2.2%, but even that is still higher than the market consensus of around 1.2%.

A survey published on Friday showed that more Brazilians now disapprove of Bolsonaro's government than those who approve, and that the number of those blaming his government has doubled in just three weeks.

The unemployment rate currently stands at 12.7%, the highest in almost a year, and there are more than 13 million Brazilians registered unemployed. Figures next week will show whether the labor market deteriorated further in the three months to April.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Mateus Maia; Editing by Richard Chang and Marguerita Choy)

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