FGV survey reveals higher average years of schooling among Brazilians
Brazilian workers had an average of 9.7 years of schooling in June this year, according to a survey by FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (IBRE). The indicator rose 1 point since March 2012, up from 8.7 years. The basis for the study is the Continuous Brazilian Household Sample Survey (Pnad Continuous), published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
Bruno Ottoni, in charge of the study and an associate researcher from IBRE and IDados, analyzed the numbers by industry. According to the data, the agricultural industry still ranks last place, with 5.6 years of schooling on average per worker, despite having been the sector with the highest growth in the surveyed period – 4.5 years in March 2012 to 5.6 in March this year, up 1.1 points.
“In June 2018, the agricultural industry remained stable compared to the previous quarter. The number of years of schooling grew in March this year, compared to December 2017. This increase could be due to the industry’s significant GDP growth last year, which also tends to be relevant this year. Such growth in agricultural activity could be causing the industry to absorb newcomers, who have more years of schooling. Therefore, the growth in average schooling can be related to the relatively stronger growth of this industry in recent months”, said the researcher.
Other highlights include the Education industry, with the highest average (12.6) of all surveyed industries in March, and Services, with an average of 11.8 years of schooling. According to Ottoni, the latter’s good performance is related to an increase in the number of job openings. “The Services industry has created the most job openings in Brazilian economy since the 1980s. The growth in employment in this industry is directly linked to its increasing share of economic activity. We should also remember that Industry has had a diminishing share since the 1980s, while the Services sector became more relevant. Therefore, the higher level of schooling is probably linked to the fact that this industry is absorbing newcomers, who are studying more than previous generations.
Every industry saw progress in the education level. In Trade, the indicator rose from 9.1 up to 9.7; in Industry, from 8.8 up to 9.6 years. Transports went from an average of 8.5 in 2012 up to 9.3 in March this year.
Most workers have finished high school
The study also showed that most workers have between 10 and 12 years of schooling (i.e. started or finished high school) – almost 40% of the economically active population (EAP) and 38.5% of the employed population (EP). On the other hand, the population with 0 to 4 years of schooling plummeted from 22% in March 2012 down to 15.4% in June this year.
“The new generations entering the job market are spending more time at school. We are not analyzing quality, but years of schooling. Nowadays, high school has the highest dropout rate. This growth is a general trend among the population, both in the formal and informal market”, said the researcher.