A survey has found that the number of workers in Brazil in the formal job market, on-the-books, with benefits (com carteira assinada), rose 9% in 2003, compared to 2001. In the industrial sector the increase was 5%.
However, there was a drop in worker income. Mariana Raposa, a director at Sesi (Industrial Social Services), which conducted the survey, says the fall in worker income reflects the country’s unequal income distribution.
"The number of workers making better salaries fell, while the number getting low wages, one to three minimum wages (between US$ 238 and US$ 402), rose," she explained.
In fact, the survey found that the percentage of workers receiving one to three minimum wages rose from 58.1% in 2001, to 64.2% in 2003. Whereas with regard to workers making more than three minimum wages, the percentage fell from 41.7% to 35.5%.
The Sesi survey of the formal job market also found that more women now have jobs in the formal job market.
"We found that 40% of the jobs on the formal job market are held by women. We also found that women have more education than men, even when they make less," says Paula Montanher, at the Ministry of Labor.
Montanher also points out that the best jobs remain concentrated in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo where almost 62% of workers earn up to three minimum wages. For the sake of comparison, in the Northeast many more people make only one minimum wage.