FGV launches second Labor Market Survey report
The Labor Market Survey is produced by consulting around 2,000 people aged over 14 across Brazil every month. The main goal is to deepen society’s knowledge of the Brazilian labor market by providing information not previously found in available statistics. The results make it possible to map nationwide trends and the Brazilian population’s perceptions in relation to various subjects, taking into account social and demographic characteristics such as gender, age group, income and education.
The survey’s second report presents the results obtained in the last two months of 2022, based on questions designed to improve knowledge of self-employed workers, their backgrounds and their motivations. We also looked into workers’ perceptions of social and economic risks in the next three years.
In December 2022, self-employed workers (with or without their own legally registered company) were asked about their main motivations for opting for this type of employment. They were also asked if they had always been self-employed. If not, they were asked about their previous employment arrangement.
Just one-third of self-workers said they had always been self-employed. The proportion of workers who had always been self-employed was highest among people with the lowest education level. It was 34.4% among workers who had completed elementary school, 36.1% among those with a high school diploma and just 28.1% among those with a university degree.
The survey then sought information on people’s prior type of employment. More than half of the workers (57.1%) said they had been formally employed before, while 16.0% had been employed in the informal economy and 15.9% had been unemployed.
Breaking down the results by income group, unemployment was the second most common prior employment status among worker who now earn up to two minimum salaries. Among workers who earn more than this, the proportion of people who worked in the informal or formal economy was higher.
Among the motivations for workers to currently be self-employed, the most mentioned (chosen by 32.1% of respondents) was the need for an income, as they were unemployed. The next most popular reasons, in descending order, were independence, flexible working hours and the need for an extra source of income.
Differences were noted in people’s responses depending on whether they earn more and less than two minimum salaries. In the lower-income group, the main reason for opting for self-employment was that they were unemployed and needed an income, followed by independence and the need for extra income. Among those on higher incomes, the main reason was independence, followed by flexible hours, unemployment and needing an extra income.
A one-off question asked in November sought to map the greatest risks envisioned by the respondents, for themselves and their family, within the next three years. This question was open to all survey participants, regardless of their employment status. It was found that one of the biggest concerns among Brazilians is getting sick and/or disabled. In all, 58.6% of respondents said this was a major concern. Difficulty in paying bills was the second most popular option, selected by 47.4% of respondents. (People were allowed to select more than one option, which means that the sum of answers exceeds 100%.)
The results differ slightly according to income. Difficulty in covering all expenses affects 49.9% of lower-income workers (earning up to two minimum salaries) and 43.5% of those who earn more. On the other hand, fear of losing their livelihood is greater among respondents on higher incomes (43.2%) than lower earners (38.5%). In both cases, becoming ill or incapacitated is also a major concern.
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