The number of unemployed persons increased to 11.1 million (9.1 million between October and December 2015) while employment declined to 90.6 million from 91.1 million. Compared to the same quarter last year, the number of unemployed rose by 39.8 percent or by 3.2 million persons while employment declined by 1.5 percent or by 1.4 million people.
The number of employees in the private sector with a formal contract fell 2.2 percent in the quarter and 4 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile the category of people who have worked for its own account increased by 1.2 percent and by 6.5 percent year-on-year.
Among groups of activity, employment fell in general industry (-5.2 percent or -645 thousand), construction (-4.8 percent or -380 thousand people), public administration, defense, social security, education, human health and social services (-1.9 percent or -299 thousand) and trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-1.6 percent or -280 thousand people).
The real average earnings was estimated at R$ 1,966, almost unchanged from the October to December 2015 period (R$ 1,961) and and 3.2 percent lower compared to the same quarter of 2015 (R$ 2,031).
Starting from the March 2016 release, IBGE will publish figures for national unemployment rate. The new release will cover the whole country, replacing the old method where only Brazil's six largest metropolitan areas were considered.