Article | Creating jobs in Brazil: the size of the challenge

The situation in which millions of female and male workers live in Brazil is dramatic. Technological changes impact jobs, professions, professional training and, often, unemployment.

Early and continued deindustrialization closes good jobs. The recession and weak economic dynamism doubled unemployment rates between 2016 and 2020, increasing informality and encouraging turnover.

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The covid-19 pandemic worsened and aggravated the indicators of labor occupations. Legislative changes made since 2017 legalized precariousness, encouraging low-quality jobs, increasing vulnerability and job insecurity, suppressing rights and squeezing wages.

The specter of destruction in the labor field commands public policies and is encouraged by a part of the business community, excited by the reduction of labor costs and the end of unions.

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The challenge is to find ways to change the dynamics that destroy jobs, that take away rights, that suppress public policies for labor and social protection, that make unions unfeasible and encourage the disaffiliation of workers.

These paths will have to be built to respond to the dramas of the present and future situational context. Therefore, we have to analyze the problem and understand its dimensions.

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According to the IBGE (PNAD Contínua, April 2021), there are 177 million people of working age in Brazil (people aged 14 or over), of which 86 million were employed and 14.7 million unemployed, totaling 100.7 million active as employed or unemployed and 76.4 million were out of the workforce.

In 2020, the level of occupation reached less than 47% of those who were old enough to work. In April 2021, it rose to 48.5%, still the lowest levels in the historical series. In 2013 the occupancy level reached 57.3%. The distance between these two occupational situations (2013 / 2021) means that about 15 million jobs were and remain destroyed as of 2013.

Currently the unemployment rate is 14.7%, double the rate verified in 2013 which was around 7% / Reproduction – RBA Assembly

Currently, the unemployment rate is 14.7%, double the rate seen in 2013 which was around 7%. Therefore, there are today about 15 million people who are actively looking for a job, almost 8 million more than there were in 2013. But there is also a contingent of 6 million despondent people, people who gave up the search because the fight to conquer was fruitless. a job.

The situation for many of the occupied is also difficult. Of the 86 million who are employed, 30 million have a formal contract, nearly 12 million workers in the public sector, and another 4 million are employers.

Inequality and precariousness are presented with 10 million wage earners without a formal contract and who work illegally; of the approximately 24 million are self-employed, the vast majority without labor and social security protection; out of the 5 million are domestic workers, the majority in informality.

In this contingent of 86 million employed, around 40% are in informality, a rate that is no worse because the pandemic destroyed these more precarious occupations more intensely.

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Among employees, IBGE estimates that more than 7 million are underemployed because they have part-time work, therefore less than what they would like to work and for which they are available.

The present context indicates that there are 26 million workers who need a job, another 7 million wanted to have a full working day.

There is a real demand for the creation of more than 33 million jobs. An economic policy guided by the social and collective interest should induce investment dynamics and public policies to generate millions of jobs, it should mobilize protective policies to include 60 million workers who lack labor protection.

This is a Herculean challenge that requires a development project focused on generating jobs from the articulation of a productive fabric oriented by cooperation to increase productivity and distributed throughout the national territory, the growth of labor income, compromised with environmental sustainability and overcoming inequalities.

*Clemente Ganz Lúcio is a sociologist, advisor to the Forum of Union Centrals, member of the FPA NAPP and former technical director of DIEESE.

**This is an opinion piece. The author’s vision does not necessarily express the newspaper’s editorial line Brazil in fact.

Edition: Vivian Virissimo

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