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Brazil—Public Policy

by Danielle Carusi Machado and Cecília Moreira Borges

December 2010—Since early 2010, Brazilian economy is reportedly “robust”— average worker income has risen and unemployment has stabilized at 10%. By 2009, the Economically Active Population growth even reached 17.5%.

However, the Brazilian government has continued efforts to engage vulnerable groups like youth, whose rate of unemployment is much higher compared with the entire population—21% for those between the ages of 15-24, compared to 7.2% for adults aged 25-49, and 3.9% for adults aged 50+.

As a result many government-created policies focus on the employment of young people, particularly those whose family income is less than half the minimum wage per capita. Current programs to encourage employment for Brazilian youth include:

  • Programa Nacional do Primeiro Emprego (PNPE), a national program for encouragement of the “first job” for youth. Created by the federal government in 2003, its main goal has been to reduce unemployment among poor youth between 16 and 24 years old.
  • Projovem, created in 2008, is to prepare poor youth for the labor market and for alternative jobs that generate income for unemployed youth between 18 and 29 years old.


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