Total active companies grew 3.7% in Brazil in 2020, research shows

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The number of companies and other organizations active in Brazil grew by 3.7% between 2019 and 2020, reaching 5.4 million.

Even with this increase, the total number of salaried employed persons in companies decreased by 1.8% in the same period, which means 825,300 fewer formal jobs in the country.

Women were the ones who lost the most jobs. The data are from the 2020 Central Business Registry Statistics (Cempre) survey released today (23), in Rio de Janeiro, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

It is the first time, in the historical series of the study, since 2008, that the drop in the number of salaried employees occurred at the same time that there was a significant increase in the total number of companies. This movement may have been caused, according to the institute, by people who were laid off and tried to open their own business or by those who sought to compensate for the loss of income during this period.

“We cannot imagine, in a period of strong economic crisis, having an increase in companies. But, at the same time, this is explained by the growth of companies that do not have employees”, said the research manager, Thiego Ferreira.

“Despite all efforts, including political ones, and public policies to keep jobs, layoffs naturally occurred. A lot of people had a reduction in income either because they were fired or because they had a shorter working day and this may have motivated the search for these people to open their own businesses”, he argued.

Fewer employees and lower wages

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of companies without salaried employees grew by 8.6%, which means 227,300 more companies in 2020.

On the other hand, companies with salaried employees fell in all the analyzed bands. Companies with one to nine employees fell 0.4%; those with 10 to 49 employees, 5.3%; those with 50 to 250 employees, 2.3%; and those with more than 250 employees had a reduction of 1%.

The data also show that the average salary paid by companies in the country in 2020 fell by 3% compared to 2019, reaching R$ 3,043.81, or the equivalent of 2.9 minimum wages.

The salary mass, which reached BRL 1.8 trillion, fell by 6% compared to 2019, which, according to the IBGE, represented the biggest reduction in the survey’s historical series. This wage loss was, according to the institute, intensified by the reduction in the number of employees.

In relation to the federative units, the Federal District and Amapá recorded the highest salaries: the DF with an average monthly salary of 5.3 minimum salaries and Amapá with 3.7 salaries, both followed by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with 3, 3 minimum wages each.

These two states concentrate more than a third of the country’s salaried workers. The lowest salaries were recorded in Paraíba – average monthly salary of 2.1 minimum salaries -, followed by Ceará and Alagoas: 2.2 minimum salaries each.

most impacted women

According to the IBGE, women were the ones who lost the most jobs in companies. In 2020, while the number of salaried men fell by 0.9%, compared to 2019, the total number of women declined by 2.9%. Of the 825,300 jobs lost between 2019 and 2020, 71.9%, equivalent to 593,600 vacancies, were occupied by women.

Given this scenario, female participation among employees of formal companies in the country decreased for the first time since 2009.

The percentage of positions held by women went from 44.8% in 2019 to 44.3% in 2020, the lowest female participation since 2016.

“Despite being a drop of 0.5%, it reveals a behavior that is related to the pandemic. When we try to better understand these numbers, what we find as justification are two movements. There was an increase in occupations in sectors that usually employ more men and, on the other hand, a reduction in the segments that employ more women”, explained the research manager.

According to Ferreira, sectors such as construction, with mostly male employees, grew, while segments with mostly female employees – education and food – reduced positions in the first year of the pandemic.

Losses in food and culture

According to the IBGE survey, the biggest reductions in salaried employees were in the housing and food sectors, with a drop of 373,200; public administration, defense and social security (233.9 thousand); and trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (221,700 fewer employees).

At the other end, the most significant increase was in the human health and social services sector, with more than 139,300 employees.

The research manager also highlighted that the areas of food and art, culture, sport and recreation had the biggest losses of salaried employees in the historical series. These percentages are respectively 19.4% and 16.4%.

“The characteristics of these sectors already contribute to having suffered the effects of the pandemic. Even more so the nature of the pandemic, which involved social distancing. People don’t go to restaurants to avoid contamination, they are afraid to eat out, outside the lockdowns. As much as it had a lot of security guarantee, [elas] could not go out”, explained Ferreira.

Cempre is a database maintained by the IBGE with registration and economic information on the vast majority of companies and other legally constituted organizations in Brazil.

This bank includes companies registered in the National Register of Legal Entities (CNPJ), of the Special Secretariat of the Federal Revenue. Individual microentrepreneurs are not part of the survey.

Source: CNN Brasil

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