Unemployment rates stabilize after initial Covid-19 spike

Unemployment rates stabilize after initial Covid-19 spike
Photo: Roberto Parizotti/Shutterstock

Unemployment figures in Brazil stabilized at 12.3 percent over the third week of June, marking the first drop in unemployment since April according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Between June 14 and 20, the country registered 11.75 million unemployed workers, a modest decrease of 0.01 percent in unemployment compared to the previous week. The drop could be a reflection of the return of some workers from social distancing measures, as many Brazilians have pushed to reopen their economies despite rises in Covid-19 deaths and cases as a result of previous reopening attempts.

Unemployment figures, however, do not present the full picture of joblessness in Brazil, with many Brazilians of legal working age no longer looking for employment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As previously explained by The Brazilian Report, 75.3 million Brazilians have halted job searches during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the current lack of job opportunities.

The figure suggests a massive underutilization of the Brazilian workforce, with the number of discouraged workers being almost double that of those actively seeking jobs at the moment. The Brazilian Report’s latest estimates indicate roughly 28 million Brazilians of legal working age being underutilized, which could more than double current unemployment rates in the country when accounting for discouraged individuals completely outside the labor force.

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