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Continuous PNAD

Unemployment rises to 13.3% in Q2, with record reduction of employed persons

Section: Social Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

August 06, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 06, 2020 12h26 PM

The drop in the employed population mainly hit the trade, which lost 2.1 million employed persons Photo: Adenir Britto/CMSJC

The number of employed persons in Brazil had a record reduction of 9.6% in the quarter ended in June over the previous quarter: the drop was of 8.9 million employed persons. As a result, the unemployment rate increased to 13.3%, a rise of 1.1 percentage points (p.p.) over the quarter ended in March. On the other hand, the number of unemployed persons remained stable and it was estimated at 12.8 million. The data came from the Continuous National Household Sample Survey - Continuous PNAD, released today (6) by the IBGE.

Adriana Beringuy, an analyst of the survey, explains that even the unemployed population remaining stable, the unemployment rate rose due to the reduction of the workforce, which adds up employed and unemployed persons. "This rate reflects a percentage of unemployed persons within the workforce. As the workforce registered a record drop of 8.5% as a result of the reduction in the number of employed persons, the rate rises in percentage terms even the unemployed population being stable," explains her.

Trade loses 2.1 million employed persons

Every activity group surveyed recorded a drop in relation to the number of employed persons. Trade was hit the most: 2.1 million persons lost their jobs in the labor market, a reduction of 12.3% in relation to the last quarter. The contingent of those employed in construction reduced by 16.6%, which represents less 1.1 million persons working in the sector. Another significant loss was in the category of domestic services, in which the employed persons were reduced by 21.1% against the quarter ended in March. They are less 1.3 million persons in this activity group.

The contingent of persons employed in the category of Housing and food also reduced by 1.3 million persons (-25.2%).

Discouraged hit 5.7 million persons, the largest contingent in the time series

In the second quarter, 5.2 million persons entered in the potential workforce, which adds up the persons at working age who were neither employed nor unemployed, but had the potential to be in the workforce. Now this group adds up to 13.5 million persons. As a group of people who did not look for a job, but who would like to get a job and were available to work, the discouraged persons are among them. They were estimated at 5.7 million persons in the quarter ended in June. This is the highest figure since the beginning of the time series of the survey in 2012. It increased 19.1% over the last quarter, which represents more 913 thousand persons in this condition.

"It is a record growth, both in the quarterly and annual comparison. There is an increase in the potential force of persons who, despite they are not looking for a job, they even would like to work. When we take a look at the reasons for not looking for a job, a large contingent alleges reasons linked with the pandemic," states Beringuy.

Jobs with formal contract hit the lowest level in the time series

The category of persons employed in the private sector without a formal contract was estimated at 8.6 million persons, a drop of 2.4 million in relation to the previous quarter. In contrast, the contingent of self-employed workers fell 10.3% and now hits 21.7 million persons. They are less 2.5 million persons in this category.

The researcher explains that these categories are part of the group of informal workers, which also includes, for example, employers without a CNPJ. "Of the drop of 8.9 million in the employed population, 6 million were employed in the informal market, i.e., the drop in the informality still accounts for 68% of the drop in the employment," explains the survey´s analyst.

Conversely, the category of the workers in the private sector with a formal contract lost 2.9 million persons (-8.9%). Now this group adds up to 30.2 million employed persons.

"It hits the smallest contingent of workers with a formal contract in the time series and it shows that this drop in the employment is well spread along all the forms of insertion, both formal and informal workers," analyzes her.

Wage bill retreats R$12 billion

The usual average earnings increased 4.6% in the quarter ended in June and reaching R$2,500, the highest one since the beginning of the time series. On the other hand, the real wage bill reduced by 5.6%, i.e., a loss of R$12 billion.

"With an important decrease in the employed population in the second quarter, most of this reduction came from informal workers, who are those with the lowest earnings. This causes the average earnings to increase. No matter the average earnings increase, the strong reduction of the employed population ends up weighting in the wage bill," concludes her.

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