A economic crisis generated by the pandemic new coronavirus harmed workers more on their own, reveals research released today (8) by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea). According to the survey, this category had the biggest drop in income in 2020.
The worst moment for self-employed workers occurred in the second quarter of 2020, when the category received 24% less than the usual income. In the fourth quarter of last year, the indicator recovered slightly, but remained below levels prior to the pandemic, with a 10% decline.
Private and unpaid workers received 13% less than their usual income in the second quarter and 4% less in the last quarter of last year. Private workers with a formal contract had no loss in the second and third quarters of 2020 and ended the last quarter of last year earning 5% above the usual income. In the public service, workers received 1% more than usual income in the second quarter, 3% in the third quarter and 5% more in the last quarter of last year.
Conducted based on data from the National Continuous Household Sample Survey (Continuous Pnad), the survey compared the average effective income with the usual average income. While the average effective income fell because of the increase in unemployment and the hiring with lower wages, the usual average income went up because the loss of occupations was concentrated in the most poorly paid areas.
According to Ipea, the increase in the usual income for private workers with a formal contract and the public service is due to the fact that the elimination of jobs mainly affected the construction, commerce and accommodation and food sectors, in addition to employees without a formal contract and mainly self-employed workers. Thus, those who remained employed were the relatively higher income workers, who pull the usual average income upwards.
When analyzing only the effective income of the last three months of last year, without taking into account the comparison with the usual income, the research shows that the fall was also greater among self-employed workers. This category ended 2020 gaining 6.7% less than in the same period of 2019.
The decline reached 1.4% among private workers with a formal contract and 0.2% in the public sector. Only workers with a formal contract received, on average, 1.4% more in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same months of 2019, reflecting the recovery of formal employment at the end of last year.
For Sandro Sacchet, planning and research technician at Ipea and author of the study, the fact that there was a drop in effective earnings in some groups of workers in the fourth quarter indicates potential effects of the beginning of the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic. According to him, the impacts can be understood when the data are released in the first quarter of 2021.
In the comparison by income bracket, the research shows that the pandemic has proportionally affected the poorest. Between the first and second quarters of 2020, the total number of households without income from work increased from 25% to 31.5%. In the fourth quarter, the proportion reached 29%, showing a slow recovery in the level of occupation.
Regarding the number of hours usually worked, the survey shows that the pandemic did not significantly affect the indicator. In the second quarter, the total hours worked dropped to 30.7 hours per week, recovering to 36.2 hours per week in the third quarter and ending the fourth quarter at 37.4 hours per week, with a drop of only 5% in relation to the previous quarter. last quarter of 2019.