Labor Market

Brazil lost 1.2 million jobs in the first half of 2020

The areas most affected by job losses are the service, construction and retail sectors

Translated by: Ítalo Piva

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
Retail was one of the sectors most affected by job losses in 2020 - Bruno Kelli/Amazonia Real

Brazil lost 1,198,363 formal jobs (those registered and taxed) in the first half of 2020, according to data from the General Registry of Workers and the Unemployed (Caged), published this past Tuesday, July 28, by the Ministry of Economics.

The number is the difference between the 6,718,276 new jobs created, and the 7,916,639 documented layoffs. In the same period in 2019, the government data shows the positive trend of 408,000 new jobs being filled.

The service sector was the worst hit, with the loss of 507,708 employees. The retail sector was the second most affected, with a loss of 474,511 jobs. In the field of construction, 32,092 people were laid off.

Amid a crisis in other areas of the economy, the agricultural, dairy, forest 'management' and fishing sectors were the only ones to create formal job opportunities with 6,633 openings in the first semester.

The Ministry of Economics says that the damage caused by the covid-19 pandemic is the main reason so many people are out of work. The government did however, celebrate the fact that rate of job losses slowed down in June – only 10,984 dismissals, the lowest number all year.

“We cannot celebrate the loss of even a single job, however, we are celebrating an improvement in the economy and in the labor market. In this sense, we do in fact have reason to celebrate,” said the government’s Special Secretary of Labor and Retirement, Bruno Bianco.

Edited by: Rodrigo Chagas