Unemployment rate in Argentina stands at 8.5 percent, according to a report released by the national statistics agency INDEC on Friday. The figure translates to a 0.8 percent improvement compared to this year’s second quarter’s 9.3 percent, and represents the creation of 110,000 jobs.
If we are to compare it with last year’s figures, however, when the INDEC under the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration claimed unemployment stood at 5.9 percent, there’s a 2.6 percent increase. Nonetheless, INDEC’s new authorities warned in the report that those numbers should be “considered with reservations.” Due namely to the fact that the “statistics emergency” declared by President Mauricio Macri when taking office questions the legitimacy of reports — or lack thereof, when it came to poverty — presented by the agency ever since it was intervened by then-Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno in 2007 until 2015.
The drop happened the following way in the different regions of the country: Patagonia was the region that saw the largest improvement, going from 6.3 to 4 percent, followed by the Pampean region, which went from 9.6 to 8.4 percent. The Greater Buenos Aires area, one of the most affected regions, saw a 0.6 increase, going from 10.6 to 10 percent between July and September this year.
Moreover, the underemployment rate — those who work less than 35 hours a week but want to find full time employment and are unable to do so — stands at 10.2 percent, an improvement of one percentage point compared to the second quarter. Taking into account that Argentina has an economically active population of 18 million people — people who have a job or are actively looking for one — meaning that 180,000 people who were unemployed are now underemployed.
However, adding up the underemployed to the 1.5 million unemployed, there is a total of 3.3 million Argentines who are experiencing work problems in the country.