More than half of Brazil's working population is not working, and nearly 8 million jobs have been lost due to the pandemic

insider@insider.com (James Pasley)
Employees leave JBS SA's poultry factory after the company was hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Passo Fundo, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, April 24, 2020.
Employees leave JBS SA's poultry factory after the company was hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Passo Fundo, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, April 24, 2020.

REUTERS/Diego Vara/File Photo

  • The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the country's main data agency, released a report last week which found 7.8 million people in Brazil lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • It found that the majority of people who lost their jobs — 5.8 million — were working in the informal sector, or the gig economy.

  • The losses meant that only 49.5% of Brazil's working population was working.

  • It's the lowest amount since the measurement began in 2012.

  • However, Mackenzie University finance professor Josilmar Cordenonssi told The Brazilian Report informal jobs in the gig economy recovered faster than formal jobs, and could be the first to recover since hiring is relatively cheap.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

 Less than half of Brazil's workforce is working and 7.8 million people in the country have lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report. 

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the country's main data agency, released its report last week, which found that the majority of people who lost their jobs — 5.8 million — were working in the informal sector, or the gig economy.

The IBGE released a statement that said the number of employed people in Brazil had fallen to 49.5% at the end of May. This is the lowest amount of employed people recorded since the measurement began in 2012.

IBGE analyst Adriana Beringuy said in the statement that "this has never happened," and it meant that less than half of the working-age population was working, according to CNN

She said that the people losing jobs were not getting other jobs, and were leaving the workforce. 

She said a major part of those who were out of work would like to be working, but they couldn't enter the market because of how difficult it was to find a job, due to either social distancing, or the fact companies weren't hiring. 

The jobs that were lost in the three months of the pandemic took Brazil about three years to create, according to The Brazilian Report

Mackenzie University finance professor Josilmar Cordenonssi told the Report informal jobs in the gig economy recovered faster than other jobs, and could be the first to recover since hiring is relatively cheap. 

"Business owners that are not fully formal may hire informal employees as they see an increase in demand," he said.

Underemployment in Brazil also rose by 27.5%, which equates to about 30 million who didn't have enough hours. 

Brazil has the second most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with 1,623,284 cases and 65,487 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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