Official figures indicate that the unemployment rate in Brazil fell to 11.8 percent in the three months ended December 31, the lowest for 14 months, as informal employment grew, Reuters reports.

The news agency, citing the Brazilian statistics agency, says the jobless rate was 12.4 percent in the previous trimester.

The report says the growth in off-the-books jobs is a sign that the recovery of the labour market is sluggish.

Workers in off-the-books jobs get fewer benefits and no automatic pay rises.

Pay, adjusted for inflation, was flat in the three months ended December 31, Reuters quotes the statistics agency as saying.