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Brazil’s Unemployment Rate Up Slightly to 8.8 Percent

The unemployment rate in Brazil rose to 8.8 percent, or 9.4 million people, in Q1 2023 — above the previous quarter (7.9 percent) but down from the same period last year (11.2 percent).

According to the coordinator of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics’ household sample survey, Adriana Beringuy, seasonal components are responsible for such results.

As in the rolling quarter to February, the increase in the number of unemployed people came mainly from informal workers or self-employed workers in several sectors and activities, such as agriculture (-2.4%), construction (-2.9%), commerce (-1.5%), public administration (-2.4%) and other services (-4.3%).

On the other hand, the number of employees with a formal contract remained stable.

Overall, the informality rate in the quarter was 39 percent, representing 38.1 million informal workers — an increase compared to the previous quarter (38.8 percent) but a decrease from the same period in 2022 (40.1 percent).

Between January and March 2023, the occupied population — made up of workers, employers, and civil servants — was 97.8 million in a labor force of 107.2 million. That’s 1.5 million fewer people than in the previous quarter.

According to Ms. Beringuy, this occupation retraction occurring simultaneously with an increase of people looking for jobs — which increases the jobless rate — is typically observed in the first quarter.

The greater demand for job vacancies in this period is mainly due to the end of temporary Christmas and year-end holiday contracts in sectors such as industry, commerce, and services.

One exception was in 2022, when the resumption of post-pandemic activities generated more opportunities than usual. “This result may also indicate that the Brazilian labor market is recovering its seasonal patterns after two atypical years,” said the researcher.

Source : Brazilian Report