(Adds quote from IBGE coordinator, details)
SAO PAULO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Brazil's jobless rate fell to 12.6% in the three months through September from 14.20% in the second quarter, statistics agency IBGE said on Tuesday, a larger drop than the market had expected.
The median forecast in a Reuters poll projected an unemployment rate of 12.7%.
The new data put Brazil's jobless rate at the lowest level since the first quarter of 2020, when unemployment was 12.4%, according to the latest reading.
"We see the continuation of a process of recovery in the job market in a gradual way," said IBGE coordinator Adriana Beringuy. "In the third quarter, there was a significant process of growth in work, which allowed for a reduction in the unemployed population...," Beringuy said.
IBGE said the number of jobless people fell by 9.3% compared with the three-month period ending in June, to 13.5 million people. At the same time, the number of people with jobs grew by 4% to 93 million, IBGE said.
Yet Brazil's job market is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the slight improvement, IBGE still estimates a high rate of informality in the Brazilian job market. There were some 38 million informal workers in the third quarter, the latest data showed. (Reporting by Ana Mano and Camila Moreira Editing by Marguerita Choy)