Brazil gains telephone salespeople and loses artisans in the pandemic; see ranking

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Professions less dependent on direct contact with customers and vacancies related to the technology area are among those that grew the most, proportionally, in relation to the pre-pandemic level in Brazil.

On the other hand, jobs associated with face-to-face activities or targeted by companies’ cost cuts recorded the biggest declines in occupancy during the health crisis and have not yet recovered to pre-coronavirus levels.

The conclusions are from a survey by economist Bruno Imaizumi, from LCA Consultores, based on microdata from Pnad Contínua (Continuous National Household Sample Survey). Pnad is published by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).

The survey analyzed 163 occupations. Each had at least 100,000 people employed in the third quarter of 2022.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the occupation that has grown the most, in proportional terms, has been that of telephone salespeople. The jump was 151.7%, according to the survey.

The total number of telephone salespeople increased from almost 141 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the health crisis, to 354.9 thousand in the third quarter of 2022. The increase was 213.9 thousand vacancies.

The number of home sellers fell 22.5% over the same period, from 1.7 million to 1.3 million. The drop was the fifth largest in the survey in relative terms.

“The pandemic brought new habits, it changed behaviors. And that changed, in part, the job market”, says Imaizumi.

For the analyst, the data give a dimension of the economic impact of restrictions on the movement of people in the health crisis.

“Part of the sellers may have stopped working at home, starting to work by telephone. Thus, the job classification has changed.”

The increase in the employment of telephone salespeople was accompanied by a drop of almost 12% in the average earnings of these professionals.

Income shrank from BRL 2,462 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to BRL 2,168 in the third quarter of 2022. The data consider remuneration in real terms, discounting period inflation.

The loss of income occurred amid a scenario of high inflation. It may also be linked to a generation of jobs with lower wages.

According to the survey, program and application (software) developers form the second fastest growing occupation in the pandemic: 144.4%.

The number of people employed in this profession increased from 58.3 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 142.4 thousand in the third quarter of 2022 (84.1 thousand more).

“It is a movement linked to the new economy. The pandemic increased the demand for technology, which already existed and became even stronger”, evaluates Imaizumi.

Journalists (77.2%), directors of information technology and communications services (73.2%) and workers in transport services (72.2%) followed the ranking of the highest increases in occupation.

Artisans of fabrics, leather and similar materials, on the other hand, recorded the main drop among the 163 professions analyzed.

The decrease in the number of employed persons reached 31.5%, from 291 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 199.4 thousand in the third quarter of 2022.

According to Imaizumi, the result has to do with the reduction in the movement of people in urban areas.

In addition, fabric and leather pieces tend not to be among the consumption priorities of part of the population in periods of tightening income, recalls the economist.

Sales and commercialization managers registered the second biggest drop in employment during the pandemic (-30.6%), followed by human resources managers (-23.9%).

In Imaizumi’s view, these two setbacks may be related to the need for cost cuts in companies in the crisis.

Restaurant managers (-23.1%), door-to-door salespeople (-22.5%) and conference and event organizers (-22.5%) came in the wake of the biggest declines in employment. Everyone felt restrictions on travel.

Income grows for cattle ranchers and falls for educators

When the subject is the average income from work, one of the highlights goes to the category described as “agents of commercial services not previously classified”.

The income of these agents increased 29.7%, the highest increase in the survey. The indicator went from BRL 2,639 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to BRL 3,424 in the third quarter of 2022.

It is not possible to tie the advance to a specific movement, as the category may involve professionals from different services, says Imaizumi.

Livestock farmers and skilled livestock workers have seen a 22% increase in income during the pandemic, the second-highest in the survey.

The remuneration went from R$ 2,280 to R$ 2,782, which reflects the heating up of agriculture in the period, evaluates Imaizumi.

“China continued to be a major importer of meat, Europe and the United States as well. It is not a product that is no longer consumed.”

Fishermen had the third biggest increase in income, estimated at almost 21%. Even with the expansion, the average amount received remained below R$1,000. It went from BRL 675.09 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to BRL 816.70 in the third quarter of 2022.

Among conference and event organizers, average job income rose 19.8% in the pandemic, the fourth-highest increase in the survey. Occupancy, on the other hand, had a sharp drop of 22.5%.

This signals that lower-paid workers left the category in the period of restrictions of the health crisis, which would have made the income rise on average, ponders Imaizumi.

That is, it is likely that there was a statistical change in the composition of the group, and not a consistent improvement in wages.

Also according to the survey, education service leaders suffered the greatest loss of income among the 163 categories analyzed.

The drop was nearly 36%. As a result, the average income went from BRL 9,313 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to BRL 5,963 in the third quarter of 2022.

The education sector was one of the hardest hit by the crisis. “There was also a freeze on wages in the public service. The occupation [dos dirigentes de serviços de educação] not much has changed, but, in terms of income, they will still need to catch up”, says Imaizumi.

The second biggest drop in average earnings was that of purchasing agents, estimated at 32.8%.

The result was accompanied by a 58.3% increase in occupancy. This relationship suggests the opening of vacancies with lower wages.

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