Unemployment drops to 9.8%, lowest since 2015, and reaches 10.6 million people

Unemployment drops to 9.8%, lowest since 2015, and reaches 10.6 million people

The unemployment rate in the quarter from March to May was 9.8%, according to data from the Pnad Contínua (Continuous National Household Sample Survey) released today by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). According to the institute, this is the lowest rate for the same period since 2015.

The unemployed population is estimated at 10.6 million people. The employed population is 97.5 million, the highest number in the historical series, which began in 2012.

The average income, however, continues to fall. In comparison with the same period in the previous year, the average worker receives 7.2% less.

For the coordinator of IBGE household sample surveys, Adriana Beringuy, the numbers show a “process of recovering the losses that occurred in 2020”. “At the beginning of 2022, there was a certain stability of the employed population, which now resumes its expansion in various economic activities,” she said in a note.

Last month, the unemployment rate was estimated at 10.5% in the quarter ending in April, down from the previous quarter. The number of unemployed totaled 11.3 million people. The employed population was estimated at 96.5 million.

With inflation, income drops 7.2% per year

The usual real income was R$ 2,613 in the quarter ended in May, which represents stability in relation to the previous quarter, but a decrease of 7.2% compared to the same period last year.

For Beringuy, this drop is driven by inflation, but also by the structure of the current job market, with more workers with lower incomes.

“This drop in annual income is even driven by formal occupations, such as the public sector and the employer. Even among formalized workers there is a process of retraction.”

Most activities are growing

According to the institute, the growth of the employed population took place in most sectors – such as services, food, transport and accommodation. Only agriculture and domestic services did not grow in comparison with the previous quarter, remaining stable.

With the improvement in the context of the pandemic, that is, with the advancement of vaccination and the relaxation of social distance measures, the more face-to-face services, which had been greatly affected, begin to have a more vigorous recovery process.
Adriana Beringuy, coordinator of household sample surveys at IBGE

Difference between Pnad and Caged

This week, the Ministry of Labor released data from the Caged (General Register of Employed and Unemployed), which showed that the country created 277,000 new jobs in May. The survey, however, covers only contracts governed by the CLT. It is the companies themselves that fill in the information in their own system.

The IBGE’s Pnad is broader, including the informal labor market. The survey is done with interviewers, who ask a sample of the population about their work situation.


Pnad Contínua is the main instrument for monitoring the workforce in the country. The survey sample per quarter in Brazil corresponds to 211 thousand households surveyed. About two thousand interviewers work on the survey, in 26 states and the Federal District.

Source: Uol

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