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Continuous PNAD

In 2023, wage bill and per capita household earnings hit record

Section: Social Statistics | Umberlandia Alves Cabral | Design: Claudia Ferreira

April 19, 2024 10h00 AM | Last Updated: April 22, 2024 04h40 PM

  • Highlights

  • In 2023, the per capita household monthly wage bill hit the highest value in the time series of the Earnings from all sources module of the Continuous PNAD, started in 2012: R$398.3 billion. It increased 12.2% over 2022. In relation to 2019, the expansion was of 9.1%.
  • The per capita household real monthly average earnings also hit the highest value in the time series of the survey: R$1,848, a rise of 11.5% over 2022. It increased 6.0% in relation to 2019 (R$1,744), year that had registered the peak in the time series.
  • Considering the resident population with earnings, earnings from all sources increased 7.5% in relation to 2022, hitting R$2,846 and approaching the peak in the time series (R$2,850), recorded in 2014. On the other hand, average earnings from other sources than labor grew 6.1%, hitting R$1,837, a record in the time series.
  • Another record was the proportion of the population with earnings usually received from labor, which changed from 44.5% (or 95.2 million persons) in 2022 to 46.0% (or 99.2 million) in 2023. The lowest percentage of this indicator occurred in 2020 (40.1% or 84.7 million), still influenced by the pandemic.
  • The proportion of Brazilian households with a beneficiary of the Bolsa Família program jumped from 16.9% in 2022 to 19.0% in 2023, whereas it had been 14.3% in 2019. While the per capita earnings of the group of households that received the Bolsa Família grew 42.4% (from R$446 to R$635) between 2019 and 2023, the change was 8.6% (from R$2,051 to R$2.227) among those who did not receive this social benefit.
  • 1% of the Brazilian population with the highest household earnings had average earnings equivalent to 39.2 times the earnings of the 40% of the population with the lowest income. Although the per capita household average earnings increased in all the strata in 2023, inequality remained high in Brazil.
  • The Gini index of the per capita household real monthly earnings remained at 0.518, the lowest one in the time series and the same value as in 2022. The highest Gini index in the time series (0.545) had occurred in 2018. This indicator measures income concentration and varies from 0 (maximum equality) to 1 (maximum inequality).
Expansion of social programs and increase of employed population boosted earnings - Source: Marcelo Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

With the improvement of the labor market and the increase in the number of beneficiaries of social programs last year, the per capita household monthly wage bill hit R$398.3 billion, the highest value in the time series of the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), started in 2012. It increased 12.2% compared with the previous year, whereas the expansion was of 9.1% in relation to 2019 (R$365.2 billion), year with the highest value in the time series.

In the same period, the per capita household real monthly average earnings grew 11.5% over 2022, hitting the value of R$1,848 and the peak in the time series, surpassing the record registered in 2019 (R$1,744). These indicators take into account all the earnings sources, i.e., other sources in addition to those coming from labor, comprising retirement and pension, rental and leasing, alimony, donation and allowance from non-residents and other earnings. The data are part of the Earnings from all sources module of the Continuous PNAD and were released today (19) by the IBGE.

The real average earnings from all sources grew 7.5% in relation to the previous year, hitting R$2,846 in 2023 and approaching the peak of the time series, registered in 2014 (R$2,850). After dropping for two years due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020 and 2021), earnings grew once again in 2022, estimated at R$2,648.

On the other hand, the real monthly average earnings usually received from all jobs (calculated for employed persons aged 14 years and over) was estimated at R$2,979 in 2023, an increase of 7.2% in relation to 2022 (R$2,780) and of 1.8% compared with 2019 (R$2,927).

In 2023, the increase in earnings resulted in a monthly wage bill of R$295.6 billion, the highest value in the time series of the Continuous PNAD. This value represents a growth of 11.7% in relation to 2022 (R$264.6 billion) and of 8.8% over 2019 (R$271.7 billion).

“Compared with the previous year, the significant increase in the wage bill from labor in 2023 is due both to the expansion of the employed population and to the rise in the average earnings from labor. 2023 registered more 4.0 million employed persons with earnings from labor in relation to 2022. With this expansion, the wage bill from labor also surpassed the value in 2019, year with the highest value in the time series of the Continuous PNAD,” explains Gustavo Geaquinto, an analyst of the survey.

Proportion of persons with other income sources grows

Persons with some earnings from labor were 46.0% of the Brazilian resident population in 2023, an increase over the previous year (44.5%). On the other hand, 26.0% had a source different from labor (other sources). In 2022, the proportion had been 24.4%. The growth of this population, which did not occur in the two previous years, influenced the increase of the group with some type of earnings (64.9%), which hit the peak in the time series.

The average earnings from other sources grew 6.1% over the previous year, hitting R$1,837. In 2019, it hit the peak in the time series (R$1,892), though it dropped in 2020 (R$1,601), first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, that sharp drop of 15.4% can be partially explained by a change in the composition of persons who received these earnings, which is due to the strong expansion in the number of persons who received earnings from social programs, especially the Emergency Aid, whose average value was lower than the average value of other components like, for example, retirement and pension,” details the analyst.

Among the components of earnings from other sources, the highest monthly average continued to be retirement and pension (R$2,408), which grew 6.6% in relation to the previous year (R$2,258), though it remained 3.6% below that observed in 2019 (R$2,499). Among four Major Regions, this was the category with the highest average value among earnings from other sources. The South was the exception (R$2,321), in which the average earnings coming from rental and leasing (R$2,661) surpassed that category last year.

In Brazil, earnings from rental and leasing recorded an average value of R$2,191, an increase of 19.3% compared with the previous year (R$1,836). Last year, this source represented 2.2% of the per capita household monthly average earnings of the population living in Brazil.

Another category present in the composition of earnings from other sources is that of other earnings, which includes, for example, social programs, like Bolsa Família and BPC-LOAS, as well as unemployment insurance and scholarships, among others. The average earnings of persons who declared to receive other earnings hit R$947, the highest one in the time series.

Compared with 2022 (R$850), the increase was of 11.4%. When compared with 2019 (R$747), the growth of the average value of other earnings was even more significant (26.8%). According to the researcher, this growth is related, above all, to the major cash transfer program in Brazil. “The average value of the benefit paid by Bolsa Família, which had already increased in 2022 (then called Auxílio Brasil), grew once again in 2023. It reflected on the average value of other earnings, mainly due to the fact that earnings coming from Bolsa Família has the highest weight in other earnings,” notes him.

On the other hand, the average earnings of the category comprising alimony, donation and allowance from non-resident were of R$753, which points out a growth of 4.6% over that estimated in the previous year (R$720). This is the category with the lowest proportion in the composition of the per capita household monthly average earnings (0.9%) among the components of other sources, a percentage that has been stable since 2021 (0.8%). Only 2.3% of the Brazilian population received earnings coming from this source last year.

When compared with the previous year, the average value of all the components of earnings from other sources - retirement and pension, rental and leasing, alimony, donation and allowance from non-residents and other earnings - increased, in the national average. With this growth, average earnings from other sources accounted for 25.8% of the per capita household monthly average earnings in 2023. In 2012, it had represented 24.3%.

Last year, the expansion of real monthly average earnings from other sources occurred in all the regions, highlighted by the Central-West (8.3%). The increase was smaller in the Northeast (4.1%). In this region, earnings from other sources represented 34.3% of the per capita household monthly average earnings in 2023. In the previous year, this proportion had been 34.1% and, in 2012, 30.0%.

In 2023, the proportion of the population that received other earnings hit 10.1%, an increase of 1.2 pp compared with that registered in the previous year (8.9%). The highest level was in 2020 (14.3%), year in which the Emergency Aid was created to fight against the effects of the pandemic.

Last year, the category of other earnings represented 5.2% of the per capita household monthly average earnings of the Brazilian population. This proportion was 4.6% last year and 4.4% in the beginning of the time series in 2012. Conversely, the share of earnings in this average changed from 74.5% in 2022 to 74.2% in 2023. This result is related with the growth of the two types of earnings in the period.

“Albeit the wage bill significantly increased, earnings from other sources grew even more, slightly increasing its weight in the household earnings. Among earnings from other sources, the expansion of earnings coming from social programs and rental and leasing stands out,” explains the researcher.

Percentage of households benefited from Bolsa Família is record in 2023

The survey also investigated the proportion of households with some beneficiaries of Bolsa Família. When the new version of the program was implemented last year, the proportion of households with beneficiaries hit the peak in the time series (19.0%). The highest percentages were in the North (31.7%) and Northeast (35.5%).

In 2012, nearly 16.6% of the Brazilian households had benefited from the program. In 2019, year that preceded the pandemic, this proportion had fallen to 14.3%. With the presence of the Emergency Aid next year, the proportion of households with beneficiaries of Bolsa Família fell to 7.2%, whereas those receiving from other social programs jumped from 0.7% in 2019 to 23.7% in 2020.

With the flexibilization of the health measures in 2021, the Emergency Aid changed, reducing the number of parcels and the average value received by the beneficiaries. As a result, the percentage of households that received Bolsa Família (8.6%) grew once again, whereas the proportion of other social programs dropped (15.4%). In 2022, this behavior stepped up with the end of the Emergency Aid and the replacement of Bolsa Família by Auxílio Brasil, reaching 16.9% and surpassing the level of 2012.

Another point noticed by the survey was the difference in earnings between households benefited from some social program and those that did not receive such aid.  In the groups of households that received Bolsa Família, the per capita household monthly average earnings were R$635, whereas they were R$2,227 among those that did not receive it.

“We conclude that the increase in the average value of the benefit contributed to the growth of the per capita earnings of these families. And it is a significant growth, if we compare 2019 with 2023. An important increase in the per capita average earnings of these families had occurred in 2022 and it grew even more in 2023,” said Geaquinto.  Between 2019 and 2023, the per capita average earnings of the households that received Auxílio Brasil/Bolsa Família grew 42.4%, whereas it increased 8.6% among those that did not receive the benefit.

In March 2023, Auxílio Brasil was replaced by the new version of Bolsa Família, which maintained the minimum value of R$600 of the previous program, which had been adjusted in the second semester of 2022 and included new benefits according to the household composition, which caused an increase in the average value received. In the beginning, the average value of Auxílio Brasil was R$400.

Households, by receiving earnings from social program and type of social program Per capita household
real monthly average earnings (R$)
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Receives Bolsa Família 484 513 524 500 467 449 447 446 469 417 557 635
Does not receive Bolsa Família 1961 2014 2056 1969 1960 1951 2028 2051 1797 1699 1967 2227
Receives BPC-LOAS 905 951 971 956 935 938 903 941 979 902 940 1068
Does not receive BPC-LOAS 1647 1701 1751 1698 1679 1684 1752 1776 1693 1574 1688 1885
Receives other social programs 811 684 827 897 785 773 912 854 954 705 851 826
Does not receive other social programs 1640 1704 1747 1684 1661 1666 1726 1751 1936 1735 1674 1867
Source: IBGE, Directorate of Surveys, Coordination of Household Sample Surveys, Continuous National Household Sample Survey 2012/2023.

Income inequality remains high in several comparisons

Researchers noticed that the 10% of the population with the highest earnings received, on average, 14.4 times the earnings of the 40% of the population with the lowest earnings. This value is the same as that registered last year, the lowest one in the time series of the survey.

“With the significant increase in employment and by paying higher values to the beneficiaries of Auxílio Brasil in 2022, this ratio dropped to the lowest value in the time series, remaining the same in 2023, when we notice a significant increase both in the income from labor and in the income from other sources, especially from social programs,” points out the researcher.

The per capita household monthly earnings of the 40% of the population with the lowest earnings was, on average, R$527, the highest value registered in the time series. The improvement is also explained by those receiving Bolsa Família and by the recovery of the labor market in the period. Compared with 2022 (R$468), the value was 12.6% higher. Compared with 2019 (R$442), it increased 19.2%.

In contrast, the group comprising the tenth of the population with the highest earnings had a per capita household average earnings of R$7,580 in 2023, peaking the time series as well. It grew 12.4% over 2022 (R$6,746). When considering the 1% of the persons with the highest earnings, the average value received was 39.2 times the earnings of the 40% with the lowest income. This group had a per capita average earnings of R$20,664 in 2023.

Gini index remains stable at the lowest level of the time series

The Gini index, which measures the concentration of the income distribution in a population, was 0.518 in 2023, repeating the result of the previous year, when it hit the lowest level in the time series. The value of the indicator varies from zero (perfect equality) to one (maximum inequality). In this specific result, the inequality related to the per capita household real monthly average earnings received by the Brazilian population was taken into account.

The publication highlights a reduction trend of the inequality between 2012 and 2015 (from 0.540 to 0.524), though it increased in the coming year onwards, reaching the peak in the time series in 2018 (0.545). In the coming years, it swung among stability, drop and increase until reaching its lowest level in 2022 (0.518).

For Gustavo Geaquinto, the stability is explained both by the movements in the labor market and by the expansion of the social programs. “Last year, an important increase in the employed population took place, i.e., many people who were out of the labor market, without any income from labor, were reintegrated. However, earnings grew at a higher rate in the class of those 10% of the employed population with higher income. On the other hand, a significant growth in earnings from other sources took place, especially in other earnings, which includes social programs. It strongly benefited the lower-income population. So, this effect took place on both sides.”

Significant differences are noticed among the Brazilian Major Regions. Although the index dropped in the Northeast (0.517 to 0.509) and reached the lowest value in the time series, this region still has the highest inequality in income distribution. It is closely followed by the Southeast (0.508), in which the index grew in the comparison with the previous year (0.505). The lowest index was registered in the South (0.454).

“In terms of income inequality, the Southeast got very close to the Northeast. Both in the Southeast and in the Central-West, the positive change of the Gini index of the household earnings between 2022 and 2023 reflected the increase in the inequality in earnings noticed in these regions. Two FUs located in these regions, the Federal District and Rio de Janeiro, are among those five with the highest Gini index in Brazil, together with some states in the Northeast: Paraíba, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte”, highlights him.

More about the survey

Continuous PNAD: Earnings from All Sources (2023) brings earnings data from labor and other sources, like retirement, pension and social programs. Among the indicators, the per capita household real monthly average wage bill, real average earnings from all sources, average earnings from other sources and Gini index of per capita household real monthly average earnings stand out. Data are available for Brazil, Major Regions and Federation Units. For more information, please access the complete publication and the support material.



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