Unemployment in Argentina rose to 10.6 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the highest figure of the Mauricio Macri administration to date and the biggest in 13 years.
Approximately 2.5 million people are now out of work, new data from the INDEC national statistics bureau revealed.
The level is a full percentage point above where it stood in the same period of 2018. In the first quarter of this year, it stood at 10.1 percent. The rise of one point implies that 250,000 workers have lost their jobs in the last 12 months.
Under-employed people, a reference to those working less than full-time or in jobs lower than their skill-base, rose strongly to 13.1 percent from 11.8 percent in the first quarter of the year. That equates to 2.53 million people.
Extrapolated for the total working population, INDEC’s data indicates that some five million people have employment problems in Argentina today.
Young people are being hit especially hard, according to the data. The unemployment rate for women aged up to 30 increased from 21.5 percent to 23.4 percent quarter to quarter, with the male rate rising from 17.3 percent to 18.6 percent.
In terms of regional rates, Mar del Plata registered the highest unemployment rate in the country at 13.4 percent, trailed by Greater Córdoba on 13.1 percent and Santa Rosa, in La Pampa, with 11.2 percent. The lowest recorded levels of unemployment were found in Gran Resistencia at two percent and San Juan at 2.3 percent.
Informal labour, meanwhile, stands at 34.5 percent of the total number of those who have a job, INDEC reported.
Economic activity up 0.6%
On a more positive note, INDEC also revealed that economic activity recorded a slight recovery of 0.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, despite the recession. It was the first piece of growth registered since the start of 2018.
The recovery was sparked by a sharp rise for agricultural sector (up 46 percent) for the period April to June, as activity recovered from last year’s severe drought.
However, the figure was tapered by the news that figures were 0.3 percent down compared to the January to March period.
The economy shrank 2.5 percent last year and 5.8 percent in the first quarter of the year. Officials expect GDP to shrink by 2.6 percent in 2019.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said this week it foresees a 2.7 percent contraction.