Brazil unemployment improves in October

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Officials say Brazil shed fewer jobs this October, suggesting the global financial crisis has not yet hit Brazil's labor market.

The national statistics institute says October unemployment fell to 7.5 percent from 8.7 percent in the year-ago period, bringing joblessness to its second-lowest level in six years.

Government unemployment researcher Cimar Azeredo says the report shows the world economic slowdown hasn't yet forced mass layoffs in Brazil.

Brazil's finance minister this month downgraded growth forecasts for 2009 from 5 percent to 4 percent, as demand for Brazilian exports falls and credit remains tight.

Joblessness hit 7.4 percent in December 2007, its lowest level since 2002.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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