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Continuous PNAD

Unemployment rate drops to 7.5% in quarter ending in November

Section: Social Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

December 29, 2023 09h00 AM | Last Updated: December 29, 2023 03h42 PM

The quarter marked an increase of 369 thousand persons among those employed in the industrial sector - Picture: Jonathan Campos - AEN-PR

In the quarter ended in November, the Brazilian unemployment rate hit 7.5%, changing -0.2 percentage points (pp) in the comparison with the previous three months. The number of persons employed was estimated at 100.5 million, the equivalent to a growth of 0.9% in the same period. This contingent hit once again the highest level of the time series of the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Continuous PNAD), started in 2012. The data were released today (29) by the IBGE.

“This is the third consecutive drop in the unemployment rate and, in the quarter ended in November, this retraction follows the movement of the same period in the previous years, when, in general, this indicator reduces. In this quarter, the drop is explained by the expansion in the number of employed persons,” explains Adriana Beringuy, IBGE´s Coordinator of Household Sample Surveys.

“The rate of 7.5% is the lowest one for a quarter ended in November since 2014 (6.6%), i.e., it resumes values of nearly ten years ago, when unemployment was quite smaller,” completes the researcher. The number of unemployed persons remained stable in the comparison with the previous quarter. They are 8.2 million persons looking for a job in Brazil, the smallest contingent since the quarter ended in April 2015, when they were 8.15 million.

With the increase in the employed population, the employment-population ratio (percentage of employed persons in the population at working age) changed 0.4 pp over the previous moving quarter (57.0%), reaching 57.4%. Of the growth of 853 thousand persons in the contingent of employed persons, most of them (515 thousand) were absorbed by the labor market as employees in the private sector with a formal contract. That category was estimated at 37.7 million workers, after a rise of 1.4% in the quarter, reaching the second highest level in the time series of the survey. The highest level was registered in the quarter ended in June 2014, when they were 37.8 million working that way.

“In the quarter ended in November, jobs with a formal contract remained expanding, which is occurring since 2022. On the other hand, an increase in the share of informality was also noticed, since the informal employed population grew as well,” highlights Beringuy

As a significant part of the informal workers, those employed without a formal contract in the private sector added up to 13.4 million in the quarter, the largest contingent in the time series, despite the statistical stability in the quarter and in the year. “That record number is due to the fact that this category does not retreat since the quarter ended in May 2021, though the change has been slighter in this last quarter,” explains the researcher.

In the quarter, the informality rate represented 39.2% of the employed population, the equivalent to 39.4 million informal workers. The rate had been 39.1% in the previous three months. Considering the ten economic activities surveyed, only industry (2.9% or more 369 thousand persons) and construction (2.8% or more 199 thousand persons) increased the number of employed persons. The other activities remained stable.

“The expansion in the construction activity was mainly due to informality, with the increase in the number of workers without a formal contract and self-employed workers without CNPJ, whereas industry leveraged formal jobs,” says Beringuy.

The number of persons in the workforce, employed plus unemployed persons, grew 0.6% in the quarter and was estimated at 108.7 million. The population out of the workforce added up to 66.5 million, remaining stable in the same period. The discouraged persons, in turn, fell 5.5%, which represents a reduction of 196 thousand persons. Altogether, that population was estimated at 3.4 million, the smallest contingent since the quarter ended in August 2016 (3.3 million).

Earnings increase 2.3% against previous quarter

Average real earnings increased 2.3% in the quarter and reached R$3,034. The rise was of 3.8% in the year. “In the quarter, this growth was steeper among those employed with a formal contract in the private sector (2.1%) and self-employed workers with CNPJ (7.6%). It is worth highlighting that no form of insertion dropped its earnings in the annual comparison, either in the formal work or in the informal one. All of them recorded a positive change,” highlights the coordinator.

Following the increase in the average earnings, the wage bill once again hit the record in the time series of the survey, adding up to R$300.2 billion. The growth was of 3.2% in the quarter and of 4.8% in the year. “The increase is explained by coupling the expansion in the number of persons inserted in the labor market with the increase in the average earnings of these workers.”

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 721 8181), and their ID numbers can be requested by the informants.

See PNAD data on Sidra. The next release of the Monthly Continuous PNAD, related to the quarter ended in December, will be on January 31.

Keywords: Taxa de desocupação cai para 7, 5% no trimestre encerrado em novembro

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