in 2017


Key drivers

Talent mismatch (8.7)

The mismatch between the skills employers are seeking and the skills available among the unemployed has improved slightly in the year, but remains high relative to the past.

Labour market participation (5.8)

Slower growth in the labour market participation rate put upwards pressure on Brazil’s score this year. Growth rates are particularly slow amongst under 25s and over 55s.

Labour market flexibility (9.3)

Brazil’s larger labour freedom score this year reflects the pressure of inflexible labour laws and high labour costs for employers.


Education flexibility


Labour market participation


Labour market flexibility


Talent mismatch


Overall wage pressure


Wage pressure in high-skill industries


Wage pressure in high-skill occupation


Jonathan Sampson

Managing Director, Hays Brazil

View from the Ground

Challenges continue in Brazil this year, with uncertainty around elections taking centre stage against a backdrop of currency fluctuations and high economic fragility. Despite this, optimistic sentiments are creeping into the labour market with employers now firmly looking to the future. As a consequence, talent mismatch has the potential to heighten as workers with the right skills become less available. Adding to this pressure is the continued lack of flexibility in employment regulations despite the positive reforms of last year, as these are yet to move into common practice. Overall, 2018 will be a step forward for Brazil, however at a slower pace than anticipated.

Jonathan Sampson, Managing Director, Hays Brazil

COUNTRY profile

In 2017, GDP rose by 1%. This follows sharp contractions of around 3.5% in the size of the economy seen in each of the previous two years.

Stronger growth is expected ahead, although 2018 started off slowly, and unemployment remains stubbornly high at over 12% despite the expansion in the economy. In early 2018, the underemployment rate, which includes those that wish to work more hours, stood at its highest level since 2012. Reflecting the high level of surplus labour competing for jobs, real wage growth fell towards zero at the start of the year.

However, tighter labour market conditions are projected for the medium term as the recovery and job creation gathers pace.

Key skills in demand

  • Digital Marketing Managers
  • Developers (Front- or Back-end)
  • Strategic Procurement Managers
  • M&A Associates
  • Product Managers (Life Sciences)