What does the New Brazilian Household Survey Say about the Labour Market?
CEIC Brazil Data Talk - April 2, 2015 The continuous national household sample survey (Continuous PNAD), which was recently released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), provides users with a snapshot of Brazil’s labour market. The survey is based on a sample of approximately 200,000 housing units in around 3,500 municipalities. While other labour market indices have existed prior to this, the Continuous PNAD enhances the range of available statistics by broadening their scope; one of the previous labour market indexes, the Monthly Employment Survey (PME), covered only the six largest metropolitan areas out of the twenty metropolitan regions across the country. The national average unemployment rate stood at 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 6.8% during the previous quarter. However, as unemployment traditionally dips during the fourth quarter due to seasonal considerations, the decline in unemployment was unimpressive. Indeed, compared to its year-earlier level of 6.2% the unemployment rate was higher during the fourth quarter of 2014. Unemployment rates were particularly high in the Northeastern Region (at 8.3%) and were considerably higher for the female segment of the population (9.8%) than males (7.2%). Youth unemployment was particularly prominent with unemployed workers aged 18-39 years old contributing to around 70% of total unemployed workers. According to the PME, the average unemployment rate was 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from an average of 4.9% during the previous quarter and 4.7% during the same period of 2013. Brazil’s labour force participation has also been another area of concern. There were 63.8 million working age persons in the labour force as at the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase from 60.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. This corresponds to Brazil’s labour force participation rate falling from 61.2% as at Q12012 to 60.9% as at Q42014. While the decline in labour force participation was relatively small, the declining trend in the labour force participation rate since mid-2012 has been a cause for concern. A pessimistic explanation suggests that this is largely prompted by discouraged youths exiting or not participating in the labour market due to high unemployment among the young, along with the shortage of job opportunities. This questions the ability of the Brazilian economy to create sufficient jobs, especially to counteract rising youth unemployment. However, a more optimistic reading suggests there is also deferment of employment as youths seek to improve their education levels, which is supported by modest increases in the number of employees who have participated in higher education. Workers with completed higher education levels rose to 18.6 million during Q42014 from 17.2 million during Q42013. By Bruna Ferreira - CEIC Analyst Discuss this post and many other topics in our LinkedIn Group (you must be a LinkedIn member to participate). Request a Free Trial Subscription. Back to Blog