Unemployment average in 2020 is highest ever

Unemployment average in Brazil for 2020 is highest ever
People in Salvador, Bahia line up for retrieving federal aid. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

Brazil’s unemployment rate reached an average of 13.5 percent in 2020, the highest level in the country’s history, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The country saw a net number of 840,000 workers losing their jobs last year, 6.7 percent more than in 2019.

A slight drop in unemployment rates in Q4 2020 — from 14.6 to 13.9 percent — cushioned the year’s results somewhat, but 13.9 million Brazilians were out of work at the beginning of 2021.

Every economic sector saw job losses in 2020, though some were affected more than others. The hotel and restaurant sector fared the worst, seeing its overall workforce shrink by 21.3 percent. The domestic services sector came next, with a drop of 19 percent.

When economic crisis strikes, vulnerable individuals usually turn to work in hospitality or domestic services. But this time around, not even these jobs are available. 

Meanwhile, agriculture and financial and administrative services were the least affected by the employment crisis, falling 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

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