RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The rate fell partly because of the Argentinian government’s stimulus and employment protection measures to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Argentina’s unemployment rate fell in the first quarter of this year, in part by the Argentine government’s stimulus and employment protection measures to mitigate the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
Data released on Thursday (24) by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) show that the unemployment rate fell from 11% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 10.2% in the first quarter of this year.
According to Rosendo Plana, economist at the Orlando Ferreres & Associados consultancy, government-driven job protection programs contributed to the drop. “The Argentine government has pushed measures to defend employment, particularly formal employment in the private sector,” he says.
In addition, Plana says, the drop in the unemployment rate is explained in part because 2.5 million people left the labor market at the peak of the pandemic in the second quarter of last year. “These people then went from being unemployed to being inactive,” he says, as he estimates that 102,000 people are still outside the economically active population (EAP).
According to Indec, the employment level rose from 40.1% in the fourth quarter of last year to 41.6% in the first quarter of this year.
Plana says that the trend is for unemployment to stabilize or even fall this year. “Taking into account that this is an election year, we think that the government will do everything it can to maintain or increase occupation levels. One sign of that is the increase in employment in the public sector, which we see this quarter.”