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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Economic Crisis Pushes Thousands of Brazilians Into Informal Work

SAO PAULO – The reverberations of the world economic crisis have resulted in 88,000 Brazilians losing their jobs and turning to working in the informal economy to survive since October, the press reported on Sunday, citing a new Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, report.

The partial report, which was posted on the Web site of the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, analyzed the six metropolitan regions that are taken into account when measuring the South American country’s unemployment rate.

Since October, the number of informal workers grew by 14.2 percent to 709,000, according to the IBGE figures.

So-called “underemployment” causes people to work more hours each day without any kind of extra remuneration, and because they’re working for themselves, so to speak, they must pay all their own health and other social welfare costs, although most people in the informal economy cannot afford to pay for those prior necessities anyway.

In January, the informal economy grew by 11 percent compared with the same month in 2008, and between December and January, Brazil lost 1.6 percent of its regular formal jobs.

Another discouraging piece of data is that in Brazil, because of the world crisis, at least 100,000 automobiles had to be returned by their purchasers between October and last week because they had bought the vehicles with loans on which they could not make the required payments.
 

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