Brazil’s federal government estimates that roughly 150,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In what was the first disclosure of official job data since social isolation measures began and non-essential businesses were closed, the government estimated that the number of requests for unemployment benefits between March and mid-April will add up to over 1 million — roughly 150,000 more than the same period last year.
The figures are still estimates, however, as the government believes hundreds of thousands of workers laid-off during the period have yet to apply for their benefits. As things stand, the current figure of formal requests received is still lower than last year’s numbers.
If the government’s figures are correct, the immediate impact of the pandemic on the Brazilian social security system pales in comparison to the dramatic scenario in the U.S., where over 26 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March.