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Continuous PNAD

With a rate of 11.1%, unemployment is stable in Q1

Section: Social Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

April 29, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: April 29, 2022 11h41 PM

The number of workers with a formal contract in the private sector increased 1.1% in Q1 - Photo: Claudio Vieira/PMSJC

The unemployment rate was estimated at 11.1% in the quarter ended March, and remained stable against the previous quarter. There was also stability in the number of employed persons, which amounted to 11.9 million persons. The employed population, estimated at 95.3 million, fell 0.5% in the same comparison, which means 472 thousand persons less in the labor market. These data can be found in the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), released today (29) by the IBGE.

According to the IBGE Labor and Income coordinator, Adriana Beringuy, stability of the unemployment rate results from the fact that the search for work did not increase in the quarter. The scenario is different from what is observed in other quarterd ended March, when, due to seasonal effects, there was increase of search for work.

“If we analyze unemployment back in time, according to the survey’s time series, we can observe that, in Q2, this population tends to increase due to dismissals that happen in the beginning of every year. The quarter ended March did not follow that pattern. Unemployment rate has been the lowest for a quarter ended March since 2016, when it was also 11.1%. 

The decrease in the number of self-employed workers in comparison with the previous quarter was 2.5%, which means that 660 thousand persons left this category. From this total, 475 thousand were workers without a CNPJ. “Workers without a formal contract in the private sector remained stable, after recording increase for three months in a row. The number of self-employed workers recorded retraction after five quarters of increase. In the quarter ended March, the decrease in self-employment accounted for a reduction in the total employed population,” the researcher says.

Being affected by this decrease, informality reached 40.1% after a decrease by 0.6 percentage points. The number of informal workers fell by 1.9%, and amounted to 38.2 million. Self-employed workers without a CNPJ accounted for 64% of this decrease. On the other hand, the number of employers increased by 5.7%. That means an increase by 222 thousand persons. Formal work accounted for most of this figure: 186 thousand of these workers had a CNPJ number.

The category of persons employed with a formal contract in the private sector recorded increase, estimated at 34.9 million persons. Against the quarter ended December, that mean an increase of 1.1%, or 380 thousand persons. “This category has recorded an increase for the fourth quarter in a row, but at a lower percentage than in previous quarters of 2021, respectively, second (1.8%), third (4.4%) and fourth (2.9%) quarters. Although the pace of increase has dropped, expansion of employment with a formal contract has contributed to a gradual increase in informal work,” says Ms. Beringuy.

In relation to the sectors analyzed by the survey, construction was the only one to reduce the number of workers in comparison with the previous quarter. The number of workers in this segment fell 3.4%, by 252 thousand persons. The other sectors remained stable in this comparison.

“The decrease in the number of persons employed in construction was mainly observed among self-employed workers and workers without a formal contract, who represent a significant part of the persons employed in this activity. The decrease in informal work in the quarter may be associated with the drop in the number of construction workers.

With a drop in the number of employed persons and the increase in population out of the workforce was 1.4%, which is equivalent to an increase of 929 thousand persons. Potential workforce fell 6.8% or by 610 thousand persons. This group gathers those that were not orployed or looking for a position, but had the potential to join the workforce. In the same period, 195 thousand persons left the group of discouraged persons.

Income increased by 1.5% from quarter ended December

Average real earnings was estimated at R$2,548, an increase of 1.5% in relation to the quarter ended December. “This increase is important if we consider that this indicator had been recording decrease since Q2 2021. In general terms, when formal workers’ participation grows, average earnings of the employed population tends to increase”, says the coordenadinator. Against the quarter ended March last year, there was a decrease of 8.7%.
Real wage bill remained stable against the previous quarter. It was estimated at R$ 237.7 billion and remained stable in comparison with the same period in the previous year.

More about the survey

The Continuous PNAD is the main instrument to monitor workforce in Brazil. The survey sample per quarter corresponds to 211 thousand households surveyed in Brazil. Nearly two thousand interviewers work in the survey in 26 states and in the Federal District, integrated to the data collection network of more than 500 IBGE branches.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IBGE implemented data collection by telephone on March 17, 2020. In July 2021, face-to-face data collection was resumed. The id of the interviewers can be confirmed at the Answering the IBGE website or through the Call Center (0800 7218181) by checking their ID numbers, which can be requested by the informants.

See PNAD data at Sidra.

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