In Brazil, Getting a Job Can Be Three Times Harder When You Are Poor

Brazilian youngsters between the ages of 16 and 24 from low-income families have a harder time on the job market than those from families with higher incomes. And the difficulty is proportional to income, that is, the poorer the family, the harder it is for youths to find paying jobs.

This conclusion comes from the study, “Youth: Diversities and Challenges in the Metropolitan Job Market,” released by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese).


The Dieese study was based on data from the Survey of Employment and Unemployment for all of 2004 and done in conjunction with the São Paulo state government’s State System of Data Analysis Foundation (Seade), the Ministry of Labor and Employment, and local governments. Six of the country’s metropolitan areas were researched: São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, and the Federal District.


The study divided families into four groups, according to income. In the São Paulo metropolitan area, the unemployment rate in 2004 among young people aged 16 to 24 was 22.1% in the highest income group, 28.9% in the second group, 39.3% in the third group, and 58.5% in the group with the lowest family income. The same pattern is observed in the other regions.


The unemployment rates for the highest and lowest family income groups are, respectively, 26.5% and 66.1% in Belo Horizonte, 31.1% and 66% in Recife, 34.4% and 67.1% in Salvador. In Porto Alegre the disparity is more than triple, with 18.8% unemployment in the highest income group and 58.7% in the lowest income group. In all the regions, the difference is progressive and inversely proportional to income.


Commenting these findings, the Dieese economist, Patrí­cia Lino Costa, said that the data reveal that “those whose financial situation is superior have more access to information and professional training and can exhibit one or more language courses and attend a good university, among other advantages.”


The Dieese study also reveals that in the São Paulo metropolitan area, for example, 68% of the youths from families considered to have the smallest income, and, therefore, the ones most in need of jobs and income, participated in the job market.


In the group of families with the highest income, participation in the job market was 79.2%, despite being the group least in need of jobs and income.


Agência Brasil

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