Economy

Brazil records unemployment rate of 14.4% in Q3 up to August

Brazilians increased demand for work as social isolation measures were eased

REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
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  • Currently, the loss of occupation is being accompanied by greater pressure on the market;
  • As a result, the occupancy rate also fell to its historical level, from 46.8% to 49.5% in the previous quarter, when, for the first time, it was below 50%.

Brazil‘s unemployment rate skyrocketed in the quarter ended in August and reached its highest level in the series: there were 13.8 million unemployed in the face of increased demand for work as social isolation measures were eased.

The labor market still suffers heavily from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, still registering in the period the smallest contingent of employed people in the history of the National Continuous Household Sample Survey (PNAD, in Portuguese), started in 2012, according to data released on Friday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

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The unemployment rate reached 14.4% in the quarter through August, against 12.9% in the immediately previous quarter and 11.8% in the same period of 2019.

The result was still slightly above the median of Reuters research forecasts, of 14.2% in the period.

In the three months to August, Brazil registered 13,794 million unemployed, which represents an increase of 8.5% in relation to the three immediately previous months and an increase of 9.8% over the same period of the previous year.

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“Before, people in isolation did not pressure the market because they were out of strength, since there was no opportunity, and now there is more demand for work,” explained research analyst Adriana Beringuy.

“Despite the aid (financial emergency aid, paid by the federal government in the pandemic), we can say that there is already an increase in the demand for work.”

Between June and August, there was a decrease of 5.0% in the number of employed persons in comparison with the immediately previous quarter, in addition to a decrease of 12.8% over the same period last year. The country had a total of 81,666 million employed Brazilians, the lowest historical level.

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According to the IBGE, in the quarter between March and May there was a loss of occupation, but also an increase in inactivity, as people lost their jobs but did not pressure the market due to social isolation.

“The scenario we have now is a fall in occupation in parallel with an increase in unemployment. People continue to be dismissed, but this loss of occupation is being accompanied by greater pressure on the market,” said Beringuy.

As a result, the occupancy level also fell to its historical level, from 46.8% to 49.5% in the previous quarter, when, for the first time, it was below 50%.

Employees in the private sector without a formal contract totaled 8,755 million in the three months to August, from 9,218 million in the three immediately preceding months.

Those with a formal contract in the period were 29,067 million, from 31,103 million before, also marking the smallest contingent in the series.

(Translated by LABS)

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