Unemployment keeps falling in Brazil as elections loom over
Unemployment in South America’s largest country has dropped to 8.9% in the quarter ending in August, following a 0.9 decrease that month, according to a study published Friday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
These are the lowest figures since the quarter ending in July of 2015 when it reached 8.7%. The number of employed people stood at 99 million, again reaching an all-time high in the historical series, which began in 2012.
The Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Pnad) released Friday today (30) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) also showed that the percentage of employed people of working age was estimated at 57.1%, also an improvement from the previous quarter when it reached 56.4% and also above the same period last year when it registered 53.4%.
The labor market follows the trend demonstrated last month, continuing the recovery that occurs throughout the year, said Pnad coordinator Adriana Beringuy.
According to the survey, three activities contributed to the decline in unemployment in August with an increase in occupation. Trade, motor vehicle, and motorcycle repair rose 3% over the previous quarter, allowing 566,000 people to join the labor market.
The 2.9% growth in Public administration, defense, social security, education, healthcare, and social services accounted for an additional 488,000 workers, while the 4.1% increase in the other services category meant an inflow of 211,000 people.
The number of unemployed workers reached 9.7 million and fell to its lowest level since November 2015. According to the survey, the result corresponds to a drop of 8.8% or 937,000 fewer formal jobs in the quarterly comparison and a drop and 30.1%, (4.2 million fewer workers), in comparison with the same period last year.
The number of employees without a formal job contract in the private sector reached 13.2 million people. The number is the highest in the historical series, which began in 2012. Compared to the previous quarter, there was a quarterly increase of 2.8% or 355,000 more workers with no contract. In the annual comparison, there was a 16% increase in informality – 1.8 million people.
The total number of employees with legal working cards in the private sector, household workers not included, rose 1.1% to 36 million.
The number of self-employed people stood at 25.9 million and remained stable compared to the previous quarter. In the public sector, the increase was 4.1% and the contingent reached 12.1 million.
The survey also indicated that there are 4.3 million people (3.8%) that the institute classifies as discouraged – who would like to work and would be available, but are not looking for a job because they think they will not find one. This item remained stable.
After two years of stagnation, actual income recorded an increase for the second month in a row. In August, the average Brazilian worker’s salary reached R$ 2,713 (US$ 502,11), a 3.1% advance from the previous quarter, despite stability in the year-on-year comparison.
This growth is associated, mainly, with the retraction in inflation. But the expansion of the occupation with a signed labor contract and employers are also contributing factors, Beringuy added.
The Pnad Continuous is the main instrument to monitor the Brazilian labor force. According to IBGE, the survey sample per quarter in Brazil corresponds to 211,000 households surveyed. Around two thousand interviewers work in the survey, in 26 states and the Federal District, integrated with the collection network of more than 500 IBGE branches, it was explained.
Brazil will hold presidential elections Sunday. The former head of state Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva is the favorite to topple the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)