With the social isolation measures imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, the trade sector lost 404.1 thousand workers in 2020 compared to 2019, of which 90.4% were in retail trade (-365.4 thousand people), down 4.8%. There was also a loss in the personnel employed in the activity of trade of vehicles, parts and motorcycles (-76.6 thousand), retraction of 8.5%. The wholesale trade was the only one to increase the number of employees, hiring 37.9 thousand people (+2.2%).

The data are part of the Annual Trade Survey (PAC), released today (17) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which confirm the negative effects of the global health outbreak on employment in this activity.

In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, 73.7% of the workforce in the commercial sector was employed in retail trade (7.2 million people); 17.8% in wholesale trade (1.7 million); and 8.5% in the trade of vehicles, parts, and motorcycles (829.4 thousand).

Of the nine activities that comprise the retail trade segment, only two hired labor in 2020: hypermarkets and supermarkets (+1.8 thousand people) and the retail trade of pharmaceutical products, perfumery, cosmetics, and medical, optical, and orthopedic articles (+318 people). As for the retail trade of fabrics, clothing, footwear and haberdashery, the loss of jobs was 176.6 thousand, which represented a 15.3% reduction in the total number of people employed compared to 2019.

Source: Agência Brasil