Argentina’s unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in the second quarter of the year, the INDEC national statistics bureau said Thursday.
The figure is 3.5 points lower than the same period in 2020 (13.1 percent) and a drop of 0.6 points compared to the first quarter of this year (10.2 percent).
Among men, unemployment affected nine percent of the economically active population in the second quarter, with the figure rising to 10.4 percent for women.
However, the data showed that underemployment (working less than 35 hours, seeking more) reached 12.4 percent in the second quarter, compared to 11.9 percent in the January-March period.
INDEC’s study is based on the country’s 31 most populated urban centres, where almost 29 million people live. Argentina’s population is around 45 million inhabitants.
The bureau found that the economically active population in the second quarter was 13.3 million people, with 8.7 million classified as salaried workers.
Analysts for Noticias Argentinas said that INDEC's figures showed that 1.3 million people were without any form of work, which projected out to the whole country would put the figure closer to two million individuals.
Additional data published by the bureau this week, however, indicated that Argentina’s incipient economic recovery is being felt in key areas such as construction and industry, translating into more employment.
Economic activity grew 10.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2021, in most part due to differences in Covid-19 restrictions. In seasonally adjusted terms, compared to the previous quarter, activity actually dropped 1.4 percent.
Argentina has been in recession since 2018. The country registered a severe slump of 9.9 percent of GDP in 2020, in large part due to limitations on the movement of people, goods and services due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that the country will see a rebound in activity of 7.6 percent this year.