Argentina's unemployment rate dropped to seven percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, its lowest level in six years, the INDEC national statistics institute said Wednesday.
In addition, the employment rate reached an all-time high of 43.6 percent of the population last December, the bureau added.
However, the underemployment rate – meaning those who do not have enough paid work or have jobs that do not make full use of their skills – reached 12.1 percent in the fourth quarter, according to official data, practically unchanged from the previous quarter yet three points below the same quarter of the previous year (15.1 percent)
Unemployment consistently dropped over the calendar year, according to INDEC. The rate stood at 8.2 percent in the third quarter of last year, 9.6 percent in the second and 10.2 percent in the first. In the fourth quarter of 2020 it had reached 11 percent, with under-occupation at 15.1 percent.
Commenting on INDEC’s data, the Economy Ministry highlighted that 2021 "closed with a record employment rate and with unemployment levels below those recorded since 2016.”
The highest unemployment rate was registered in Greater Cordoba (10.1 percent), while the lowest was in the Viedma-Carmen de Patagones district (just 1.6 percent).
In Greater Buenos Aires, joblessness reached 7.4 percent, dropping to 4.6 percent in Buenos Aires City.
Among the districts with the highest unemployment rates were Mar del Plata (8.4 percent), Gran Resistencia (8.4 percent) and Bahía Blanca (8.2 percent).
According to official data, unemployed people (as a proportion of the economically active population) numbered 947,000, while the underemployed population totalled 1,647,000. This means that more than two million people have employment problems in Argentina, rising to more than three million if the figures are extrapolated to the total population.
Argentina’s economy has begun to emerge from the recession into which it fell in 2018 and closed out 2021 with gross domestic product improving 10.3 percent on the previous year – one that was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic.