A survey released on Tuesday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) found that only 49.5% of working-age people were employed in the quarter that ended in May.
As disclosed by the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) and reported by Reuters, this is the lowest level of occupation since the beginning of the survey, in 2012. According to IBGE, the number shows a decrease of five percentage points in relation to the quarter that ended in February.
“For the first time in the historical survey series, the level of occupation was below 50%”, says Adriana Beringuy, research analyst. “This means that less than half of the population of working age is working. This has never happened in PNAD Continuous”, she added.
IBGE also found that the unemployment rate in Brazil was 12.9% in the quarter ended in May, compared to 11.6% until February. Thus, the number of unemployed in Brazil between March and May reached 12.710 million, from 12.343 million between December and February.
In May, the Brazilian labor market lost 331,901 formal jobs. Since the beginning of the isolation measures against the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, in March, 1.4 million job vacancies were closed.