17/11/2017 | Last Updated: 21/11/2017 15:04:54

Blacks or browns are 63.7% of the unemployed

* The percentage of blacks or browns working as street vendors in the 3rd quarter of 2017 was of 2.5% (and not of 25.2%, as previously disclosed).

According to the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), released today by the IBGE, in the third quarter of 2017, of the 13 million unemployed Brazilians, 8.3 million were black or brown (63.7%). As a result, the unemployment rate of this share of the population stood at 14.6%, above the rate for white workers (9.9%).

The underemployment rate – indicator which aggregates unemployment, time-related unemployment (less than 40 hours) and potential workforce – had a similar behavior. For the total Brazilian workers, it was of 23.9%, whereas for blacks or browns, it stood at 28.3%, and for whites, at 18.5%. Of the 26.8 million underemployed persons in Brazil, 17.6 million (65.8%) were blacks or browns.

66% of the domestic workers in the country are blacks or browns

In the third quarter of 2017, blacks or browns represented 54.9% of the Brazilian population aged 14 or over and were 53% of the employed workers of the country. But, despite being the majority, the proportion of employed blacks or browns (52.3%) was below that of whites (56.5%). In addition, the earnings of black and brown workers was R$1,531, whereas that of whites was R$2,757.

The percentage of black or brown employees of the private sector with a formal labor contract (71.3%) was lower than the one seen in the sector overall (75.3%). Out of the 23.2 million black private-sector workers, 16.6 million had a formal labor contract.


When it comes to the distribution of the employed population by groups of activities, it is possible to see that the contribution of the black or brown workers was superior to that of the white ones in agriculture, in construction, in food and lodging and, mainly, in domestic services. Blacks and browns represented 66% of the domestic workers in the country.

2.5% of the black or brown workers were street vendors

The Continuous PNAD also revealed that, in Brazil, just 33% of the employers were black or brown. But, for the self-employed, this population represented 55.1% of the total. More than one million black or brown workers were street vendors, accounting for 66.7% of the workers in this activity. In the third quarter of 2017, 2.5% of the black and brown workers were street vendors; in 2014 the figure had been 1.9%.

For Labor and Income Coordinator, Cimar Azeredo, indicators such as these are an evidence of how unbalanced the Brazilian labor market is. "Among the several factors are the lack of experience, schooling and qualification of the great part of the brown or black population. It is a historical process, dating back to the settlement period. Of course there has been several advances, but there is still a long road ahead when it comes to giving the black and brown population equality in relation to what there is today for the white population", he highlights.

Text: Mônica Marli
Art: Helena Pontes
Image: IBGE files