A total of 860,503 formal jobs in Brazil were wiped out in April amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the biggest monthly loss of jobs since records were kept in 1992, the Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.
The figure represents a 17.2 percent increase in job terminations compared to April 2019, as well as a 56.5 percent contraction in new employment opportunities.
The pandemic and resulting lockdown measures imposed by state governments to stop the spread of the virus led to the closing of most commercial businesses and factories, which in turn led to workers being let go.
In March, when lockdown measures began to impact Brazil’s economy, 240,702 formal jobs were lost.
Between January and April, nearly 5 million new jobs were created in Brazil, a 9.6 percent drop compared to the same period of 2019, and 5.76 million people lost their jobs, a 10.5 percent increase compared to the year before.
Temporary work contracts also took a hit in April, with the loss of 2,375 jobs, the balance of 7,291 new hirings and 9,666 firings, while part-time work saw 4,881 new hirings and 14,029 firings.
The government’s Emergency Program for Employment and Income Maintenance, created in April, has helped preserve more than 8.1 million jobs in Brazil, the ministry said.
The program aids workers who have been furloughed or had their hours cut, with emergency cash of 600 reais (114 U.S. dollars) a month.