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Continuous PNAD

Unemployment increases and hits 12.7 million persons after decreasing for two quarters

Section: Social Statistics | Rodrigo Paradella

February 27, 2019 09h00 AM | Last Updated: February 28, 2019 08h37 AM

Unemployment rate was 12% in the quarter ended January - Photo: Tony Winston/Agência Brasília

After decreasing two times in a row, the unemployment rate recorded an increase and stayed at 12% in the moving quarter ended January, above the 11.7% registered in October by the Contiuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD). The rate reflects the inclusion of 318 thousand persons in the unemployed population, resulting in a total 12.7 million workers in this condition. Labor underutilization was 24.3% in the period, amountig to 27.5 million persons in that group. 

“In the beginning of January, there was an increase of the unemployment rate. That is a seasonal movement, since the rate usually rises at this time of year because of the decrease of employment", says the IBGE Labor and Income Coordinator, Cimar Azeredo.

Despite that seasonal effect, Cimar highlights that the quarter ended January was less favorable than those in the same periods of 2018 and 2017. “Last year there was stability in the employed and unemployed population, whereas the number of unemployed ones has increased this year", he adds.  

The category of self-employed persons recorded a decrease of 1.2% in comparison with the previous quarter (23.9 million persons), and that means a total 291 thousand persons more in this group. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the number of workers without a formal contract in the private sector (-321 thousand persons,  from a total 11.3 ones) and in workers in the public sector, by 1.8% (11.5 million). Workers with a formal contract in the private sector (32.9 million), and domestic workers (6.2 million) remained stable. 

“Both the private and public sectors faced a decrease in the number of workers. In the former, that affected, mainly, workers without a formal contract. Even so, informal work increases every day, as a result of the increased number of self-employed workers.”

The number of persons facing time-related underemployment (6.8 million) and in the potential workforce (8 million), as well as the discouraged ones (4.7 million), remained stable against the previous quarter. The population out of the workforce increased by 403 thousand persons, amounting to 65.5 million in the quarter ended January. 

As for the activities, there was decrease in Agriculture, livestock, wild crop harvesting, fishing and aquiculture (by 2.2%, or 192 thousand persons), Industry (2.9%, or a decrease by 345 thousand) and other services (2.8%, or 139 thousand). On the other hand, the group Transportation, storage and mailing recorded increase (2.8%, or 129 thousand persons more).

Average earnings rise 1.4%

The average usual real earnings of the employed population, estimated at R$ 2,270, recorded an increase of 1.4% against the previous quarter (R$ 2,240).  

“Earnings increased significantly, but that did not lead to an increase in the wage bill, of R$ 205 billion, which remained stable, because there was decrease of the employed population. That may have been caused by a decrease in employment among lower-income workers", Cimar says.

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