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Continuous PNAD

With a rate of 8.8%, unemployment rises in Q1 2023

Section: Social Statistics | Irene Gomes

April 28, 2023 09h00 AM | Last Updated: April 28, 2023 07h59 PM

After a drop in 2022, unemployment rate rises again in the first quarter of 2023 - Photo: Helena Pontes/IBGE News Agency

Brazil’s unemployment rate closes Q1 2023 at 8.8%, having increased by 0.9 percentage points (p.p.) from the previous quarter. That is the lowest result for the period since 2015 (8.0%). The number of unemployed persons increased by 10.0%, which means 860 thousand persons more searching for work, out of a total 9.4 million. The number of employed persons fell by 1.6% (1.5 million), and stood at 97.8 million. This data can be found in the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), released today by the IBGE.

“Employment retreat and increaased search for work has been observed every first three quarters of the survey, except in 2022, which was marked by post-pandemic recovery. This result of the first semester may point to a recovery of the labor market in terms of seasonality aspects, after two years of non-typical movements,” says the Labor and Income coordinator, Adriana Beringuy. 

The employment-population ratio - percentage of employed persons in the population at working age - reached 56.1%, having dropped 1.0 p.p. from the previous quarter (57.2%), but being 1.0 p.p. above the same quarter a year ago (55.2%).

“The decrease in employment reflects, mainly, the reduction in the number of employees without a formal contract, either in the public or in the private sector,” says Ms. Beringuy. Among employees without a formal contract in the private secctor, decrease in the quarter amounted to 7.0% or 207 thousand persons. Also in the private sector, the number of those employed without a formal contract fell (-3.2% or 430 thousand persons).

Another highlight is the total number of self-employed workers with a CNPJ register, which fell by 8.1% (559 thousand persons). The number of emplyoyees with a formal contract in the private sector was stable and informality rate reached 39.0% of the employed population (or 38.1 million informal workers) against 38.8% in the previous quarter and 40.1% in the same quarter a year ago.

According to Ms. Beringuy, decrease in employment without a formal contract can be observed in some economc activities, such as in groups of agriculture, construction and trade, which recorded decreases of, respectively, 2.4% (201 thousand persons), 2.9% (215 thousand persons) and 1.5% (294 thousand persons) out of total employees. “In construction, decrease was concentrated in the building sector and it is characterized by seasonality,” she explains.

The coordinator also highlights decreases in the group of Public administration (-2.4% or 415 thousand persons) and Other services (-4.3% or 231 thousand persons). “Public administration has a very heterogeneous group of activities and wa mainly influenced by the segment of public education and public administration itself.”

The number of persons put of the workforce in Q1 2023 was estimated at 67.0 million persons, an increment of 1.1 million persons (1.6%) against the previous quarter and of 2.3% (an increase of 1.5 million persons) in the year. “That increase has been observed for some quarters. According to information from the survey, we observed this increase is not related to the expamnon of population in potential workforce or the discouraged population, since these two indicators show stability in the quarter and in the year,” Ms. Beringuy analyzes.

Population in the potential workforce gathers persons searching for work, but who were not available and persons who were not searching for work, but were available. This total amounted to 8.3 million in Q1 2023. Discouraged population, persons in the potential workforce among those who did not search for work amounted to about 4.6 million persons.

Earnings are stable in quarter ended March

The usual real earnings (R$2,880) stood stable against the previous quarter and increased 7.4% in the year. In this comparison, the following categories recorded increased: Trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (3.5% or R$82) and Domestic Services (1.9% or R$21). Transportation, storage and mailing recorded decrease (3.8%, or R$ 107).

The usual real wage bill (estimated at R$ 277.2 billion) was also stable from the previous quarter, but increased 10.8% in the annual comparison.

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 identity of the interviewers can be confirmed at the Answering the IBGE website or through the Call Center (0800 7218181), and their ID numbers can be requested by the informants.

See data on PNAD at Sidra.

Keywords: Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios Contínua - Divulgação mensal

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