Economy

Despite the pandemic, Brazil created formal jobs in 2020

Despite the serious crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 142,690 formal jobs were created. Government studies maintaining employment protection measures

Photo: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
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  • After losing more than 1.6 million formal job vacancies, the country created jobs again, with the launch of the Emergency Benefit (BEM);
  • Government reported that similar measures are under study because of new restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

Despite the severe economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil managed to create 142,690 new formal jobs in 2020. The Brazilian Ministry of Economy has informed that it is studying maintaining the employment protection measures implemented last year with the Emergency Benefit (BEM) program.

The program allowed companies to provisionally suspend employment contracts or reduce employers’ hours and wages, which received partial compensation in payments from the government. The layoffs were temporarily banned for companies that joined.

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During the year, 20.1 million agreements were closed at BEM program, covering about 9.8 million workers and 1.5 million companies, according to the Ministry of Economy. Most of the agreements were for the suspension of contracts (8.7 million) and the reduction of 70% in wages and hours (4.4 million).

The special secretary for Social Security and Labor, Bruno Bianco, ruled out the risk of Brazil suffering a new wave of layoffs and said that the moment is for a return to normality.

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The service sector was the most affected by social distance measures and was the only one that closed formal job vacancies in the accumulated result of last year (-132,584). Construction, on the other hand, was the champion sector for job creation (+112,174), followed by industry (+95,588), agriculture (+61,637) and commerce (+8,130).

In a quick speech to the press about the employment data, the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, said that the country’s priority now is health, employment and income.

Translated by LABS.

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