Economy

Brazil still has a large number of unemployed, but more people are looking for a job again

In the fourth week of September, some 25.6 million people who were out of the workforce – without a job or looking for one – said they would like to work

Woman leaves resume in box next to list of job opportunities in downtown São Paulo. Photo: Reuters/Amanda Perobelli
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  • The unemployment rate was 14.4% in the fourth week, compared to 13.7% in the previous period, when 13.3 million unemployed were counted;
  • At the beginning of May, amid more restrictive measures, Pnad Covid weekly pointed to an unemployment rate of 10.5% and 9.8 million unemployed;
  • With the easing of the quarantine, an increase in the demand for work was expected to contribute to the rise in unemployment rates.

The number of unemployed in the country reached 14 million in the fourth week of September, a record number but with no relevant statistical variation over the previous week, according to the latest Pnad Covid weekly survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), released this Friday.

Despite the stability, the institute said there were signs of an increase in people seeking employment amid measures to ease restrictions on social contact. The unemployment rate was 14.4% in the fourth week, compared to 13.7% in the previous period, when 13.3 million unemployed were counted.

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At the beginning of May, amid more restrictive measures for the movement of people and personal contact in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pnad Covid weekly pointed to an unemployment rate of 10.5% and 9.8 million unemployed.

With the easing of the quarantine and partial resumption of economic activities, an increase in the demand for work was expected to contribute to the rise in unemployment rates – since those who are part of the workforce and are actually looking for jobs are considered unemployed.

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“Although the information on unemployment has been stable in the weekly comparison, it suggests that more people are putting pressure on the market in search of work, amid the easing of social distance measures and the resumption of economic activities,” said the research coordinator from IBGE, Maria Lucia Vieira.

In the fourth week of September, some 25.6 million people who were out of the workforce – without a job or looking for one – said they would like to work. Of that total, about 15.3 million people said they were not looking for work because of the pandemic or because they could not find an occupation in the locality where they lived. These numbers were stable compared to the previous week.

Translated by LABS