The government says the number of workers who entered the formal job market in 2011 was 24 percent less than in 2010.
Labor Ministry figures show that 1.94 million payroll jobs were created last year, compared to 2.54 million in 2010. The government had forecast that 3 million new jobs would be created in 2011.
Acting Labor Minister Paulo Roberto Pinto says the reduced job creation is due to the economic crisis that has hurt export-oriented companies.
On Tuesday the International Monetary Fund said Brazil's economy would grow 3 percent in 2012, 0.6 percentage points less than its previous growth projection.