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Unemployment applications down 10.6% in September

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After skyrocketing in the first half-year due to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, requests for unemployment benefits among workers with formal, registered jobs continue to sink in the second half of the year. In September, applications shrank 10.6 percent from the same month last year.

The indicator has been on the wane since early June. In September, 466,255 unemployment applications were made, against 521,572 requests filed in the same month of 2019. Altogether, 61.8 percent of benefits were requested online last month, against a mere 2.9 percent in September 2019.

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The survey was published yesterday (Oct. 8) by the Labor Secretariat of the Economy Ministry, and includes applications submitted both online and in person.

Year to date

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Despite the September reduction, unemployment applications continue to grow year to date, and stands at 5,451,312 from January 2 to September 30, 2020. The total represents an increase of 5.7 percent from the same time span last year (5,157,026).

Year to date, 56.1 percent of unemployment requests (3,059,828) were filed online, 43.9 percent (2,391,484) face to face. In the same time span last year, 98.3 percent of applications (5,068,033) were place in loco, 1.7 percent (88,993) through the internet.


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The majority of unemployment applicants in the first 15 days of September are male (60%). The age group with most applicants is 30 through 39 years old (33.5%). As for education, 59.4 percent have graduated from high school. Economically, services account for 42.4 percent of applications, followed by trade (26.8%), industry (14.9%), and construction (9.5%).

The states with the highest number of claims are São Paulo (140,854), Minas Gerais (51,541), and Rio de Janeiro (36,430), and those with the highest percentages of online applications are Acre (96.2%), Sergipe (87.4%), and Tocantins (85.9%).

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