The optimistic economic scenario in Brazil has promoted a certain career advancement. One of the direct results of this change is the professional shortage for operational and domestic jobs, what leads to salary inflation and import of workforce.
A structural problem
The rise of a Brazilian middle class has opened a new realm of possibilities for many people who were stagnant in their careers. When this economic change was allied with social and governmental initiatives that aimed to promote higher and technical education, providing then a better qualified workforce, this economic advance started to create a professional shortage in economic sectors considered to be essential to any economy such as the construction industry.
One of the direct consequences of this professional shortage is a generalized inflation. The equation is very simple: in order to attract employees, employers increase salary and start to offer new benefits, what affects directly the price of goods and services.
An alternative to solve this problem is to relocate workforce. It can be relocated within the national territory – this is the case of Brazilians coming from other regions of the country to work in the major metropolises of the Southeast –, or from other Latin American countries, such as Paraguayans who come to Brazil to work as nannies and Bolivians who come to work as sewers.
Brazil, that used to be a major exporter of workforce, has become a destination for many foreigners looking for a job – and it doesn't mean only foreigners who are practically obliged to come here by the company they work for, but people who have deliberately decided to live in Brazil.
According to Ministério do Trabalho, in 2011 there were 1,5 million immigrants in Brazil, most of them coming from:
According to a research made by Universia Brasil at the beginning of this year, São Paulo was among the 10 best destinations for candidates looking for a job position in a transnational company.
The hurdles of the construction industry
According to CNI – Confederação Nacional da Indústria -, the lack of qualified workforce affects 89% of the construction industry. Employers complain that one of the major obstacles for the sector is the staff turnover. The favorable economic scenario has encouraged people to change jobs more often as they know they will not be unemployed for long.
Still according to the same study, 94% of the construction companies suffer from professional shortage and have had difficulties to find candidates even to the most basic positions such as bricklayers. An alternative some companies have adopted to try to solve the problem is to train the employees themselves.
Foreign nannies and housekeepers
Every Brazilian living abroad claim to find another Brazilian in the city, it doesn’t matter how small it is. Every year, thousands of Brazilians leave their hometown to try a better life abroad. The major destinations are USA, Europe (especially England, Italy, Portugal and Spain), Japan and Australia.
Most Brazilians living abroad are occupying job positions that are normally refused by the natives such as nannies, housekeepers, taxi drivers and gardeners. The main reason leading these Brazilians to leave the country was the possibility of living in a “wealthy” country and receiving a paycheck in dollars or euros. Very recently a kind of inversion started to be observed in Brazil with the arrival of immigrants who would come here to do the exact same kind of jobs with the expectation of receiving a paycheck in Brazilian reais.
This is the case of Paraguayans who come to Brazil to work as nannies and housekeepers. When receiving in Brazilian reais, Paraguayans make twice the amount they would make at their home country. The advantage is not only for the nannies, but the employers also benefit from a bilingual nanny who can teach their kids a foreign language. Not to mention, many Paraguayan nannies are living in Brazil illegally, so they don’t have access to all the legal benefits of Brazilian workers, reducing the cost of having an employee at least 50%.
A similar case is the one of Bolivians who come to Brazil to work as sewers. The amount of money a Bolivian makes in Brazil is three times the amount he would make at his home country. The situation in this case is more complicated as most Bolivians come to work in Brazil as indentured servants and they work merely pay the supposed debts they have acquired with their employers.