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Continuous PNAD

Unemployment drops to 8.1% in quarter ended November

Section: Social Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

January 19, 2023 09h00 AM | Last Updated: January 20, 2023 07h49 PM

Increase in the number of formal workers drives expansion of employment in tne country - Photo: Charles de Moura/PMSJC

The unemployment rate was 8.1% in the quarter ended November, with a decrease of 0.9 percentage points (p.p.) from the three preceding months (8.9%), and the lowest result since April 2015. The number of unemployed fell to 8.7 million, the smallest number since the quarter ended June 2015. That means a reduction by 953 thousand persons looking for a job in the country (-9.8%). The data come from the Continuous National Household Sample Survey - Continuous PNAD, released today (19) by the IBGE.

The unemployment rate has decreased significantly for six consecutive moving quarters. According to the coordinator of the IBGE Sample Surveys, Adriana Beringuy, retraction in the quarter ended November results from the increase of 0.7% in employment in the period, which, once again, reached its peak in the time series initiated 2012. This percentage is equivalent to an increase by 680 thousand persons in the labor market.

“Although the increase of the employed population has has taken place in previous quarters, it is significant and adds to the decline in employment,” says the researcher.

Beringuy addas that successive decreases in unemployment also reflected the increase in the number of employed persons, in a movement of recovery of the labor market observed since 2021. “From that moment on, there was expansion of the employed population, first of informal workers and, then, of employment with a formal contract in several groups of activity, such as trade and industry. More recently, there was also increase in services, which played an important role in the recovery of employed population in the country.” 

 The main reason accounting for the increase of employment in the quaretr ended November came from the category workers with a formal contract in the private sector, with an increase of 2.3% (or 817 thousand persons more).

“We have observed the increase of this category since the second semester of 2021. That is an important record, once it not only indicates the increase in the number of workers, but also points to the reduction of informal employment in the employment population,” says the coordinator. In the year, the number of workers with a formal contract in the private sector increased by 7.5%, an increase of 2.6 million persons.

On the other hand, the number of workers without a formal contract in the private sector was stable against the previous quarter. This figure represented, in the quarter up to November, 13.3 million persons. An increase of 9.3% (more 2.2 million persons) was recorded against the same quarter a year ago.

Another representative category in the informal labor market is employers without a CNPJ, who were stable against the previous quarter and the same period in 2021. The number of self-employed persons without a CNPJ fell by 2.9% against the previous quarter (563 thousand persons) and 4.1% against the quarter ended November 2021 (796 thousand).

The results had an impact of 0.8 percentage points on the informality rate, which hit 38.9%, the lowest since the quarter ended November 2020 (38.7%). This proportion corresponds to a total of 38.8 million informal workers. “In this period, there was an increase of employment with a formal contract and also retraction in the case of self-employed workers, who account for a significant part of informal work. The decrease in this figure ended up affecting the informality rate,” Ms. Beringuy analyzes.

Considering employers as a whole, formal and informal ones, the category remained stable against the three previous months, but increased by 12.0% against the sam period in 2021. This figure was affected mainly by the increase of 12.55 in the number of employers with a CNPJ, which is equivalent to 389 thousand persons.

With this increase, the employment population ratio, percentage of the employed ones in the working age population, was estimated at 57.4%, advancing 0.3 pp from the previous quarter (57.1%).

Number of discouraged person drops 4.8% in the quarter

The population out of the workforce increased 1.0% in the quarter, which represents 660 thousand persons more. Among those in the potential workforce, there was a decrease of 454 thousand persons (-5.8%). This group gathers those that were not employed or looking for a position, but had the potential to join the workforce. In the same period, the discouraged population was estimated at 4.1 million. There was a decrease of 4.8% from the previous quarter (203 thousand persons).

Against the previous quarter, the following groups of activity recorded increases: Information, Communication and Financial, Real Estate and Administrative Activities (by 2.6%, or 307 thousand persons) and Public administration, defense, social security, education, human health and social services (1.8%, or 319 thousand persons). In the last category, the segments of health and education stood out in the advance of employment.

The trade sector, which usually has more job opportunities as December festivities approach, was one of the sectors that did not record sigificant advances in comparison with the previous quarter. Besides trade, other groups of activity surveyed were also stable in the quarter.

Earnings increase by 3.0% from previous quarter

Average real earnings was estimated at R$2,787, an increase of 3.0% in relation to the quarter ended August. Against the same quarter in the previous year, increase amounted to 7.1%.

Real wage bill also increaed in both comparisons and reached R$ 273 billion, once again having reached a record in the time series of the survey. Against the same quarter a year ago, there was an increase of 3.8%, or R$ 10.1 billion.

“The wage bill has increased throughout the year. In the quarter ended November, the increase was influenced, simultaneously, by the expansion in the number of workers and the increase of real average earnings,” Ms. Beringuy explains. Against the same quarter in 2021, there was an increase of 14.0%, or R$ 31.4 billion..

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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