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Continuous PNAD

Unemployment decreases and closes quarter ended August at 7.8%

Section: Social Statistics | Caio Belandi

September 29, 2023 09h00 AM | Last Updated: October 03, 2023 02h24 AM

Number of employed persons reached 99.7 million in the quarter ended August - Photo: Art on photo - Pixabay

The unemployment rate was 7.8% in the moving quarter ended August 2023. A decrease of 0.5 percentage points (p.p) against the previous quarter, March-May 2023. It is the lowest index since February 2015 (7.5%). Against the same period in 2022, the unemployment rate dropped 1.1 p.p. Data come from the Continuous National household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), released today (29) by the IBGE.

The number of unemployed persons reached 8.4 million in the quarter ended August 2023, the lowest figure since the quarter ended June 2015 (8.5 million). This means a drop of 5.9% from the quarter ended May 2023, which means there was a drop by 528 thousand persons in the country. In the annual comparison, the decrease is even more significant: 13.2%, or a drop by 1.3 million persons.

The decrease in unemployment is directly related to the increase of the number of persons working, says Adriana Beringuy, coordinator of Sample Household Surveys. The employed population reached 99.7 million, an increase of 1.3% (or 1.3 million persons) against the quarter ended May. There was also an increase of 0.6% (641 thousand persons more) against the same quarter in 2022. As a result, the employment-population ratio – percentage of employed persons in the working-age population was estimated at 57%. “This favorable scenario in employment is what allows the reduction of the number of persons searching for work,” says the researcher.

Three groups of activity were responsible for the performance of labor market in the quarter ended August. The biggest change in the comparison against the quarter ended May was Domestic services, which recorded an increase of 2.9%, which means an increment of 164 thousand employed persons. It was followed by Public administration defense, social security, education, human health and social services, with an increase of 2.4% (or by 422 thousand persons), mainly in the fields of Health and public Education. In the third position come the activities of Information, Communication and Financial, Real Estae, Professioanl and Administrative Activities, with an increase of 2.3% (by 275 thousand employed persons). “The result was positive because no other group registered statistical loss of workers. But these three groups added to the process of incorporation of workers,” say Ms. Beringuy.

The time-related underemployed population (5.3 million persons) increased by 3.9% (or 199 thousand persons) in the quarter and dropped by 17.3% (less 1.1 million persons) in the year. The population out of the labor force (66.8 million persons) dropped by 0.5% against the previous quarter (347 thousand persons) and increased by 3.4% in the annual comparison (by 2.2 million persons).

Number of workers with a formal employment contract is the highest since 2015; number of persons without an employment contract is also high

Continuous PNAD shows that the moving quarter ended August recorded an increase in the number of workers both in the forma and in the informal segment. The number of workers with a formal employment contract in the private sector (except domestic workers) was 37.248 million, the highest figure since February 2015, when it was 37.288 million. This amount means an increase of 1.1% in the comparison between quarters, that is, by 422 thousand persons with a formal employment contract. In the annual comparison, the increase was of 3.5% (by 1.3 million).

The number of workers without a formal contract also increased, and reached 13.2 million, an increase of 2.1% in the quarter (by 266 thousand persons), with stability in the annual comparison.

The number of employers (4.2 million persons) and of workers in the public sector (12.2 million persons) was stable. The number of self-employed workers (25.4 million persons) stood ained stable from the previous quarter and dropped by 2.0% in the year (509 thousand persons). Among domestic workers, there was an increase of 2.8% from the quarter ended May, resulting in a total of 5.9 million persons.

Average earnings reach stability and wagebill hits record figure in August

Average real earnings for the quarter ended August was stable in the comparison with the quarter ended May and reached R$ 2,947. In the year, this figure means an increase of 4.6%. The usual real wage bill (R$288.9 billion) hit a record figure in the time series, with an increase of 2.4% from the previous quarter and of 5.5% in the annual comparison.

More about the survey

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 PNAD data at Sidra. The next release of Continuous PNAD, related to the quarter ended in September, will be on October 31.

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