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Central Register of Enterprises

2020 Cempre: Number of employed persons drops, whereas number of enterprises with no employees grows

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral | Design: Helga Szpiz

June 23, 2022 10h00 AM | Last Updated: June 29, 2022 05h25 PM

  • At a glance

  • In 2020, the number of salaried employed persons in enterprises and other active organizations reached 45.4 million, decreasing 1.8% compared to 2019, or 825,300 less formal jobs in the country.
  • In the same period, the number of enterprises and other active organizations grew by 3.7% compared to 2019, reaching 5.4 million and the number of partners and owners increased by 4.3%, totaling 7.3 million.
  • The number of enterprises without employees grew 8.6% (or 227,300 more). On the other hand, the number of enterprises with salaried employees declined in all personnel categories.
  • In 2020, while the number of salaried men fell by 0.9%, that of women fell by 2.9%. Of the total of 825,300 jobs lost between 2019 and 2020, around 593,600 (or 71.9%) were women's jobs.
  • As a result, for the first time since 2009, female participation among employees of formal enterprises in the country fell: from 44.8% in 2019 to 44.3% in 2020. It was the lowest female participation since 2016.
  • The biggest reductions in employees were in the activities of Lodging and Food (-373.2 thousand), Public Administration, Defense and Social Security (-233.9 thousand) and Trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-221.7 thousand). The biggest increase (139,300 employees) was in Human health and social services.
  • The biggest percentage drop in salaried workers was in Lodging and food (-19.4%), a record drop in this activity in the CEMPRE time series. Next comes Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation (-16.4%), another record drop.
  • In 2020, the wage bill (R$1.8 trillion) dropped 6.0% compared to 2019, the biggest drop in the survey's time series. The average salary paid by enterprises in the country fell by 3.0% compared to 2019, reaching R$3,043.81, or 2.9 minimum wages.
#PraCegoVer A foto mostra do lado direito, as fachadas de 2 prédios em destaque. No fundo, aparece a visão da rua, vista de cima.
Number of enterprises without employees grew 8.6% between 2019 and 2020 - Photo: Helena Pontes/IBGE News Agency

In 2020, enterprises and other active organizations in the country had around 45.4 million salaried employed persons. Compared to 2019, the number of salaried workers fell by 1.8%, which represents 825,300 fewer jobs. It was the biggest retraction in this amount since 2016 (-4.4%). The data are from the Central Register of Enterprises (Cempre), released today (June 23) by the IBGE.

“This year of pandemic was very challenging in several ways that impacted the business economy. One of them was the need for a lockdown, which caused a decrease in the circulation of people and caused many enterprises to close their doors in that period. And if the enterprise doesn't sell products, it doesn't generate revenue and ends up laying off employees. It's a snowball effect”, explains the survey manager, Thiego Ferreira.

He points out that the fall in the employed population in 2020 is the result of an atypical economic crisis. “Although there was also a reduction in employment, the behavior of the crisis caused by the pandemic was different. And the fact that it was not the biggest drop in the time series may be linked to what was done to mitigate this retraction, such as the Employment and Income Maintenance Program, which benefited almost 10 million workers; Emergency Aid, which contributed to household consumption, possibly contributing to the survival of enterprises; and Pronampe, with the release of over R$ 37 billion in credit to 517 thousand enterprises”, continues the manager.

The retraction in the salaried population affected most of the economic activities analyzed by the survey. The biggest loss in relative terms was in Lodging and Food, with a drop of 19.4%, the largest in the survey's time series, which began in 2007. “These activities were greatly affected by the pandemic. People stopped going to restaurants, hotels, inns, among other establishments in these sectors due to the adoption of more restrictive measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic”, comments Mr. Ferreira.

The economic activity Arts, culture, sport and recreation also had a double-digit retraction: in one year, it lost 16.4% of its salaried employed personnel. The retreat was also a record in the time series. Among the enterprises in this group are, for example, cinemas, theaters and party venues, which were greatly impacted by the effects of the pandemic.

The activities that most contributed to the reduction of 825.3 thousand employees were Lodging and food (-373.2 thousand), Public administration, defense and social security (-233.9 thousand) and Trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-221.7 thousand).

“In the case of public administration, 65% of the reduction occurred in the municipal spheres. In 2020, there was also Complementary Law No. 173, which limited the hiring of personnel to all federated entities. So, many employees who left, due to retirement, for example, could not be replaced. Also of note is the improvement in registry quality, with the reclassification of organizations that had mistakenly declared themselves to be public administration, but should be, for example, in the area of ​​health or education”, he says.

“In trade, an activity that employs the largest number of persons (8.7 million), any impact will be significant in relative terms. It is a very heterogeneous sector: in many segments of trade there were losses; others, which were considered essential services, managed to maintain or increase their number of employees”, he adds.

Also impacted by social distancing policies to combat the pandemic, Transportation, storage and mailing activities suffered a 4.0% reduction in the number of employees. “This sector is divided into three important parts that felt the effects of the crisis differently. Passenger transportation, especially air transportation, was greatly affected by the effects of social distancing due to the pandemic,” says Mr. Ferreira.

“At the same time, in Mailing and other delivery activities, there was a 1.5% increase in the number of employees. These activities played an important role in 2020, when record e-commerce sales took place”, he justifies.

Another segment driven by demand during the first year of the pandemic was Human Health and Social Services, which gained over 139,300 employees. It was the biggest employment increase in absolute terms among the activities investigated. Other activities with an increase in this indicator were Construction (80.8 thousand) and Administrative activities and complementary services (79.6 thousand).

“This growth in the health sector is explained by the very need to hire professionals during this period. Field hospitals were opened and the capacity of the existing care units was expanded, resulting in the hiring of professionals to meet the demand”, analyzes the survey manager.

Construction was the second activity with the highest balance of personnel: 80,870 employees, an increase of 4.3% compared to 2019. For the IBGE analyst, the activity has already been indicating a recovery since 2016, when it presented the largest relative fall in the time series (-20.5%), and may have benefited from a set of factors, including the fall in the basic interest rates in recent years and for having been considered an essential activity in the pandemic.

The construction of buildings and infrastructure works contribute significantly to the balance of employees. Mr. Ferreira highlights important subdivisions of these activities: “Assembly of industrial facilities and metallic structures, Construction of roads and railways and Works for the generation and distribution of electricity and for telecommunications, which together accounted for 51,500 of this balance”, he details.

Women were more affected by employment drop

In 2020, women lost more jobs than men. While the number of salaried employed men fell by 0.9%, that of women dropped 2.9%. Of the total 825.3 thousand jobs lost between 2019 and 2020, nearly 593.6 thousand (or 71.9%) belonged to women. As a result, for the first time since 2009, there was decrease in female contribution to salaried employed persons, of 44.8% in 2019 to 44.3% in 2020, the lowest level since 2016.

According to the survey manager, the economy sectors historically more associated with male employment had personnel increase in 2020, whereas those of female tradition shrank. That happened, for instance, with Education, composed mostly of women (66.9% of the total), which lost 1.6% of its salaried personnel. In Construction, on the other hand, where 90.6% are men, there was increase of 4.3% in the number of salaried persons.

Trade, which concentrated 19.0% of the salaried women, had decrease of 2.5% in the total of salaried employed persons. But salaried women in this segment had a greater drop: 3.2% against 1.9% among men.

Female participation is smaller in exporting and importing enterprises. Women represent 44.3% of the salaried persons in the total of enterprises and other organizations surveyed in Cempre, whereas in exporting enterprises, the figure falls to 30.1% and in the importing enterprises, to 36.5%.


Rise in the number of enterprises, partners and owners could be linked to job loss

While the number of salaried persons shrank, that of partners and owners in the country increased 4.3% against 2019 to reach 7.3 million in 2020, representing 301.8 thousand more persons. According to Mr. Ferreira, the rise could be related to layoffs and income reduction during the pandemic. “Unemployment drives many people to opening their own businesses. It is the case of restaurant employees who were dismissed and started a home business to sell food. If the new enterprise has the CNPJ formal register, eSocial and is not an individual micro business (MEI), it is counted in”, says the researcher.

Considering the growth among self-employers, the number of active enterprises and other organizations increased 3.7% against 2019 to reach 5.4 million in 2020. That represents a rise of 194.8 thousand enterprises in the year.

According to the survey manager, the rise was driven by those companies without employees. Their number increased 8.6% in 2020. All the others fell: micro-enterprises with up to nine employed persons fell 0.4%; small businesses with ten to 49 employees, 5.3%; medium enterprises (50 to 250 persons), 2.3%; and large ones (more than 250 persons), 1.0%.

Wage bill falls 6.0%; medium wages decreases 3.0%

The total of salaries and other compensation paid by enterprises and organizations was R$1,8 trillion in 2020, a retraction of 6.0% against the previous year, considering the inflation rates. It is the greatest decrease for wage bills since the beginning of the time series of the survey. The largest retreat prior to this one had been recorded in 2015 (-4.8%) The decrease was of 3.0% over the monthly average wage. With this result, the average wage was R$3,043.81, which corresponds to 2.9 minimum wages.

“The decrease, which was widespread among the activities, can be explained by several factors. Inflation had grown in the three previous years, not retreating in 2020, while salaries remained the same. That factor alone is enough to reduce salaries in real terms. But there was also a strong retraction of the economic activity while unemployment reached the highest level in the series”, explains Mr. Ferreira.

“Together, those factors make the job market even more unbalanced, with workforce surplus taking salaries to low levels. It is also important to mention the Emergency Program for Employment Preservation, which allowed temporary suspension agreements or agreements of reduction of worked hours with proportional reduction of wages, to be complemented by the Federal Government. The complementation was not reported to the eSocial, one of the survey’s data sources, and could not, therefore, be counted - which partially justifies salary reduction”, he adds.

The highest salaries were paid in the Federal District, with an average of 5.3 minimum wages, and in Amapá, with 3.7 mw. Next came Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo concentrating one third of the entire salaried population in the country. In the two states, the wage average was 3.3 mw. The lowest ones were seen in Paraíba (2.1 mw), Ceará (2.2 mw) and Alagoas (2.2 mw).

Southeast concentrated more than half of the local branches of the country

Cempre also confirmed the maintenance of high concentration of local branches, employed persons (total and salaried), salaries and compensation in the Southeast. In 2020, this Major Region accounted for the majority (50.6%) of the local branches and almost half (49.3%) of the employed persons in the country. There were 22.2 million salaried persons, representing 48.9% of the total in the country, and R$938.5 spent in salaries and other compensation (52.0%).

The South was the second with the biggest participation in the number of local branches (22.4%), employed persons (18.5%) and salaries and other compensation (16.8%), but, in number of salaried personnel, it stood behind the Northeast, which had 18.6% of the total. Among the states, São Paulo is still the one with the highest contribution in number of local branches (30.9%), employed persons (28.8%), salaried persons (28.8%) and salaries and other compensation (32.1%).

In relation to 2019, there was increase in the number of local branches and drop in the total salaries and other compensation in all Major Regions. Growth was more significant in the North, where the number of local branches increased 6.9%, and in the Central-West (5.8%). The North was also the only Major Region to record growth in relation to salaried employed persons (0.8%). The greatest decrease in this set was in the Southeast (-2.4%), with highlight to São Paulo, which lost 262.7 thousand salaried workers and Rio de Janeiro, with a loss of 238.7 thousand.