According to data from the Additional Labor Market Characteristics module, from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the unionization rate reached its lowest level in 2022. Overall, 9.2% of employed people were members of unions last year.
The index corresponds to 9.1 million people, a number lower than in all previous years since the series began in 2012, when there were 14.4 million union members in the country. The data was released by IBGE last Friday (15).
The drop in unionization also occurred at a time when the largest number of employed people was recorded. In 2022, Brazil registered 99.6 million people with a formal contract, an increase of almost 5% compared to 2019 (95 million) and 11% compared to 2012 (89.7 million).
The drop in the number of unionizations was recorded in all regions of the country, with emphasis on the South (drop of 9.2%) and Southeast (drop of 2.4%) compared to 2019.
With the exception of the Domestic Services sector, the unionization rate fell in all other sectors. The sector with the highest evasion was Transport, storage and postal services. The segment went from 20.7% of union members in 2012 to 11.8% in 2019, reaching 8.2% last year.
“The reduction in the unionized population became more pronounced from 2016 onwards, when the drop in union membership was accompanied by a decline in the total employed population. As of 2017, despite the growing employed population, the number of unionized workers continued to fall”, analyzes Adriana Beringuy, coordinator of household sample surveys at IBGE.
Public sector and entrepreneurs
Historically with the highest rate of union membership, the public sector recorded some of the biggest losses in the period analyzed. In 2022, the segment had 2.2% of union members, compared to 8.1% in 2012.
The research also highlighted the 29.3% growth in the number of self-employed workers between 2019 and 2022.
“In 2022, of the 25.8 million self-employed people, 26.3% (6.8 million) were registered with the CNPJ; while among the 4.4 million employers, coverage reached 80.9% (3.5 million). While CNPJ coverage among self-employed workers grew from 20.2% to 26.3% compared to 2019, that of employers remained practically stable (from 80.5% to 80.9%)”, says an excerpt from the survey.