Brazil created 260,353 new formal jobs in January, largely due to industry and service sector hires, according to the General Register of Employed and Unemployed (Caged, in Portuguese). According to Caged data, 1,527,083 Brazilians were hired while 1,266,730 lost their jobs.
This result exceeded the expectations of analysts consulted by Reuters, who foresaw the opening of 122,000 formal jobs last month. It also surpassed the new vacancies registered in January 2020, of 117,793, when the country’s economy had not yet been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All economic sectors opened vacancies, but the increase was driven by industry (+90,431 vacancies) and services (+83,686), followed by construction (+43,498) and agriculture (+32,986). The commerce sector, which suffers the most direct impact of the social isolation measures adopted to face the pandemic, created 9,848 jobs.
Unemployment in the informal sector has broken records, but formal work was protected during the crisis by a government program that offered extra income to workers who had their employment contracts temporarily suspended or who suffered a reduction in working hours and wages. The program, called BEM, ended in December, but the government has already announced that it will be reissued with new rules.
All regions of the country had a positive balance of hiring, with the Southeast and the South being the regions that best recovered formal job vacancies, such as 105,747 and 83,587 new vacancies, respectively.
In December, Brazil closed 93,726 jobs. The closing of jobs, which follows the seasonal trend, occurred after five consecutive months of increase in vacancies.
It is important to keep in mind that Caged data only considers formal jobs, with a formal contract.
More recent figures from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics show that the unemployment rate in Brazil reached 13.5% in 2020, the highest ever recorded since 2012. This represents 13.4 million Brazilians without formal job.
Translated by LABS.