RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Child labor presently accounts for 18 percent of the country's work force, a government study said.

Although Brazilian law prohibits the employing of children under 14 years of age, there are 1.4 million working children in the country, the Jornal do Brasil reported Sunday.

Economists Ana Lucia Saboia and Silvia Reise Bregman of the Brazilian Institite of Geography and Statistics said their survey showed that child labor rose from 6.1 percent of the work force in 1970 to 11 percent in 1990.

More than half of the children are employed in the clothing and textile industry as weavers, but they also operate heavy industrial machinery, Saboia said.

The economists' report also said youths between 14 and 17 years of age are 45 percent of the work force, up from 31.4 percent in 1970.

430EST