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News > Latin America

Over 27.5 Million Brazilians Unemployed, Under-Employed

  • People look at lists of job openings posted on a street in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    People look at lists of job openings posted on a street in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 August 2018

The percentage of unemployment peaked in the northeastern states of Amapa, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Sergipe and Bahia.

The number of unemployed persons in Brazil, or individuals in informal employment, which doesn't meet the country's monthly minimum wage, reached a whopping 27.6 million during the second quarter of 2018. The figures place the country's unemployment rate at 24.6 percent of the total population, according to the National Household Sample Survey, or PNAD.

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The figures, which were published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, Thursday, are primarily unchanged from those published in the first quarter of the year.

The largest percentage of Brazil's underutilized workforce was registered in the northeastern states of Piaui (40.6 percent); Maranhao (39.7 percent); and Bahia (39.7 percent). Unemployment also peaked in northeastern states: Amapa (21.3 percent); Alagoas (17.3 percent); Pernambuco (16.9 percent); Sergipe (16.8 percent); and Bahia (16.5 percent).

Last July, the government of Senate-imposed president Michel Temer approved sweeping labor reforms intended to "modernize" labor laws.

Unions and workers' organizations have widely criticized the reforms. The technical director of the Inter-Union Department of Socioeconomic Statistics and Studies, Clamente Ganz Lucio, said the change "creates mechanisms to legalize practices that make work precarious, reduce or impede union protection, and leave the worker exposed to the coercion of businesses in the definition of their rights," according to Prensa Latina.

President of the Brazilian Lawyer's Order, Claudio Lamachia, said the reform "attacks the federal constitution and the normative regulatory system and intends to create subclasses of workers with few rights, on precarious contracts."

Last year Temer's administration also cut 70 percent of the budget dedicated to combating slave labor., according to Pragmatismo Politico.

Surveillance authorities tasked with rooting out child exploration and work analogous with slavery have reached its lowest number of inspectors in 20 years.

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