Between the first quarter of this year and the same period in 2021, the economy as a whole grew 6.1% according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). Surely the unemployment rate for January-March would be less than 7%. A breath of oxygen in the midst of inflation that does not give in and would be close to 34% in the first half, the collapse of Argentine debt bonds in the markets together with the rise in country risk.
Last year unemployment ended at 7% and now the next measurement that will be known this week by the Indec and is part of the first quarter of 2022 would be lower. However, this good news will be overshadowed by the quality of the work that was generated, and an extremely worrying fact: having a job does not get you out of poverty.
According to Indec itself, at the end of last year, 70% of the employed population, whether formally or informally, earned less than $60,000 and if the bar is raised, 90% earned less than $100,000. monthly.
Eduardo Donza, sociologist and member of the Argentine Social Debt Observatory Program of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA), highlighted: “The main problem of the labor market is not unemployment, it is job insecurity.”
This occurs “because the labor market depends on the productive structure. No matter how many employment policies can be developed, if the productive structure does not support it, more quality jobs will not be generated,” said Donza, who participated last week in the Academic Agenda of Profile Education. Coincidentally, from Ecolatina they pointed out that “the loss of purchasing power in the first quarter of the year was 2% in the 50% with the highest income and almost 4% in the half with the lowest income.”
When comparing the extremes, they highlighted that the difference is higher: the “poorest” decile had a drop of 4.6% and the “richest”, a decrease of 1.3%. In this framework, “although there is a clear recovery in employment, the acceleration of inflation in the first part of the year (55.1% year-on-year in the first quarter) makes wage recomposition difficult. There is a heterogeneous dynamic regarding how income moves by population segments”, added the consultant.
From the “hard” numbers, registered employment accumulated 15 months of recovery, exceeding the loss generated by the pandemic according to the records of the Ministry of Labor. However, almost 200 thousand jobs are still missing to reach the levels prior to the macroeconomic crisis of 2018.
Given these data, the Center for Political Economy (CEPA) highlighted that the path of growth in private registered employment was maintained in March, with an increase of 20,796 jobs, 0.3% more than February.
“More than a year after the pandemic floor (July 2020), 268,000 jobs have been generated, more than 100% of the total lost since that date,” added the CEPA analysis.
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