The latest numbers from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) show that in 10 years, between 1995 and 2005, Brazilian workers had their earnings cut by 12.7% (even though they had a 4.6% increase in income when compared to 2004), while the country’s unemployment rate jumped 52.5%.
In 2005, Brazilian men had a monthly average income of 909.10 reais (US$ 421), while women made in average 718.80 (US$ 333). Also in 2005, 56.4% of workers were men while 43.6% were women. In ten years the participation of women in the job market grew by 3.2%.
The IBGE’s report also points out that despite the higher unemployment more Brazilians are being hired on the books, which gives them bigger social benefits like social security and the right to unemployment benefits. The number of those formally hired went from 43.2% in 1995 to 47.2% ten years later.
In 1995, most of the jobless had between five and eight years of study. Ten years later people who have finished high school are the ones with the hardest time to get a job.
Another reason for encouragement is the narrowing of the gap between the top rich and the bottom poor. While in 1995 the difference in income between the top 10% and the bottom 40% was 21.2 times this number had fallen to 15.8 times by 2005.
The South was the region where the biggest reduction in inequality occurred. In the state of Piauí, in the Northeast, however, the gap between rich and poor grew by 8.5%.
The news on youth unemployment isn’t good though. The IBGE study reveals that the number of jobless youngsters in the 18 to 24 age bracket has zoomed 68%.
In the ten-year period, the number of children aged 10 to 14 who are working fell from 20.4% to 11.5% and from 50.9% to 41.3% among youngsters between 15 and 17.
On the other hand, those 10- to 14-year-old kids are now 97% of them on school, while only 89.8 % were going to school ten years ago. For those between 15 and 17 82% now are studying in comparison to 66.6% ten years ago.
On the other end of the age spectrum the number of older people working has been shrinking. Only 34.4% of man aged 65 or older have a job now while this percentage was 40.5% in 1995.
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