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Pandemic unemployment hits the most vulnerable social sectors

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São Paulo – An analysis of the current situation in Brazil amid the pandemic of the new coronavirus shows an unfavorable economic context. The job market continues with high levels of precariousness and the crisis, after negatively affecting informal workers, “shows a strong deterioration” in formalized jobs, harming mainly women, young people, the elderly and the black population.

The data that unemployment in the country has gender, race and age comes from the Study Group and Monitoring of the Economic Situation (Geace), which brings together, in all, five researchers in the area.

According to the monthly bulletin, released on November 26, between March and September, the negative balance of hired and dismissed was 897.2 thousand vacancies. 688.5 thousand women were dismissed, a population contingent that most concentrated losses of formal jobs during the pandemic, totaling 65.6% of the total closed jobs. The researchers also point out that, in addition to leaving more of the formal market, women are the group with the greatest difficulty in returning.

This would have a direct connection with the sexual division of labor, which overloads this population with more than one working day, attributing to them the obligation of domestic chores and childcare, in a period in which daycare centers and schools were closed. Female work, as the bulletin points out, still today occupies the jobs that are most vulnerable to social detachment “Such as the sectors of accommodation and food, domestic work and other services”, says Geace.

Who pays the unemployment bill in the pandemic

Among young people, according to Geace, at least one in six has stopped working since the beginning of the pandemic. Based on data from PNAD, half of the potential workers aged 18 to 24 were employed in early 2020, an index that fell between April and June to 42.2%.

The population over 50, on the other hand, finds it more difficult to re-enter the labor market. Data from the General Register of Employed and Unemployed (Caged), surveyed by the bulletin, reveals that admissions were around 20% lower than in the period between 2012 and 2019, while disconnections among older people were higher than the national average. In terms of race, the black population is affected. Among those who declare themselves black, out of five people, one is unemployed.

“Historically, we have an element of greater vulnerability in these sectors, it is not a surprise. But in this period of the pandemic, what we see is that there was a widespread disruption that ended up impacting sectors historically more likely to suffer these shocks ”, explains economist Iriana Cadó, one of Geace researchers, in an interview with Glauco Faria, in Current Brazil Newspaper.

Emergency aid and trade

Iriana highlights her main concern with the phenomenon that happens in the trade sector. The bulletin identifies that the emergency aid helped this segment to increase the volume of sales. However, there was no increase in the number of jobs in the area, which mainly employs the younger population. The economist observes a transformation in the sector that may influence the creation of fewer jobs than before the pandemic.

“It is the sale of e-commerce that led to this (high) scenario. What does not necessarily generate direct jobs for people who are not very qualified, creates for the IT (Information Technology) sector, artificial intelligence, data analysis and the technology sector in general. But it will not be able to move towards creating jobs for those who were effectively harmed in the pandemic ”, he analyzes.

Internet sales also reveal inequality within the trade segment. According to the researcher, it is large companies, retail conglomerates that are at the forefront of virtual sales, and not small companies that, in parallel, suffer from difficulties in accessing credit, although they are responsible for at least 54% of formal jobs in the country.

Basic income and end of the ceiling for the future

“And with the end of emergency aid, perhaps not even the online commerce sector will survive for long. There is nothing to celebrate so much for now. A big hangover will come in the next period if the aid is cut, ”he warns.

With the possibility of ending the aid by the federal government, given the level of unemployment even higher than it was before the pandemic, and with the structural changes in the labor market, Iriana highlights the country’s urgency to create a type of basic income and revoke the spending ceiling, which limits investments in social areas.

“As a researcher, I really don’t see any other way out. If the aid is cut overnight, we will have a general economic breakdown. We are 14.6% unemployed, according to PNAD. This is very high, a record for the historical series ”, he warns. “At the moment we are, what we need less is to deepen the recessive aspects, on the contrary. We need to make it possible for the economy to run strong again and not breathe through devices anymore. ”

Check out the interview

Writing: Clara Assunção. Edition: Glauco Faria

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Economy

Unionists protest at Ford dealership against closure

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In Camaçari (BA), where one of the factories is to be deactivated, the Metalworkers Union held an assembly and an ecumenical act. Representatives of the entity participated in meetings in Brasília, in three embassies, looking for people interested in settling in the industrial center. Metallurgists in Taubaté (SP), on the other hand, have kept vigil in front of the factory since the company announced the closure.

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