Photo via El Espectador

The unemployment rate in Argentina clocked in at 9.2 percent for the first quarter of 2017, according to the Indec statistics agency. The number represents a 1.6 percent increase compared to the previous quarter and means that 1.7 million Argentines actively looked for a job but couldn’t get one during that period.

However, the variation is not all that drastic when considering that the agency itself clarified that the rate for the last quarter of the year had dropped mostly because fewer people looked for work. It’s likely that once the year began a significant percentage of these people went back to job hunting, unsuccessfully.

But those are not the only Argentines struggling in the job market. The underemployment rate — people who don’t have a full-time job — reached 9.9 percent or 1,830,000 additional people. And of that figure, 1.2 million are looking to work more hours.

Moreover, 14.1 percent of people who do have a job — or 2.6 million people — are unhappy with their current situation and actively looking for a new one. So in total, 5.3 million of the approximately 27 million Argentines in the market are actively looking for a job.

The study revealed that the Buenos Aires Province is the most affected area, as 11.8 percent of its economically active population — or 639,000 people — are unemployed. It also indicated that the rate in Buenos Aires City reached 7.9 percent, but this number clashes with the one published by its Porteño counterpart, which stated that it actually reaches 9.4 percent or 160,879 people.

Representatives of LCG consultancy firm told Clarín that the statistics are “worse than expected.”

“The increase in unemployment during the first quarter can be explained by both the elimination of jobs (124,000 posts) and the number of people who entered the job market (81,000 people) expecting to get one but couldn’t.