Employment in Brazil

Since World War II, employment in Brazil has matched the development of the country’s labor force. In spite of this, there have been large changes in the employment system. Very slow growth in agricultural employment occurred from 1950 to 1970. There was also a fast increase in typically urban occupations. These included commerce and services but also industry (manufacturing, construction, and mining). The period from 1970 to 1980 experienced a very rapid development in employment. The period between 1980 and 1990 saw employment growth that was led by the services sector (even with a slow economy).

Common Jobs in Brazil

Jobs in Brazil are available in many different areas. In particular, those abroad that are looking for a job in Brazil will find a high demand for English teachers. Since Brazil has a high level of poverty, this means that many employment opportunities are available in the social services fields.

Brazil is a vital country for trade with the United States. Because of this, many American companies run large operations in Brazil. This offers many employment opportunities for Americans abroad. Because of Brazil’s rapid industrialization and rich culture, this provides various jobs in the tourism and hospitality areas.

Working Hours and Wages in Brazil

In Brazil, the Federal Constitution and the Labor Code state that 44 hours is the maximum amount of hours per week for every individual. An employee is not allowed to work more than two overtime hours per day. This is because the workday cannot go beyond ten hours (the legal limit). Nevertheless, the law offers overtime (a maximum of two hours) in exceptional circumstances.

The Brazilian Federal Constitution has created a system of national minimum wages.  The minimum wage is fixed every year by law. In spite of this, some categories also have their own professional minimum wage. This self-created minimum wage cannot be less than the national minimum wage.

Employment for Women in Brazil

Export agriculture and mainly female labor forces in Latin America have grown quite a bit in the last thirty years. Women made up 35.5% of the labor force in 1990 (compared to 15% in 1950). Research shows that women in Brazil usually experience worse pay and conditions than men. In 2006, the approximate earned income for men was $11,521. For women, it was $6,426. This suggests that women, on average, earn about half as much as men in Brazil. These statistics show large gender gaps in income and pay (which are still occurring in Brazil today).

The law allows 120 days of paid maternity leave to women and seven days to men. The law also does not allow employers to require applicants or employees to take pregnancy tests or present sterilization certificates.

More about the challenges that Brazil face in labor law and other barriers for its development


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