Buenos Aires Hours | Unemployment edged down to 10.2% in the first quarter



Unemployment reached 10.2 percent in the first quarter of this year (down slightly from 10.4 percent in the same period last year), INDEC’s statistics office reported on Thursday, leaving thus 1.3 million unemployed.

Unemployment is much higher among women at 12.3% than among men (8.5%), the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown having a particularly heavy impact on domestic service.

INDEC labor market figures showed underemployment to be 11.9%, down sharply from 15.1% in the previous quarter, but the same difference with the first quarter of 2020 where it was 11.7%.

The first quarter of this year found 46.3 percent of the population economically active and 41.6 percent employed. The impact of the pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs and apply for IFE emergency family allowance.

INDEC attributed the improved figures to economic growth of 2.5% in the first quarter.

Unemployment was higher in large communities, according to INDEC data, averaging 10.8% in cities with more than half a million people, while falling to 6.8% below of this population level. The Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA) was the highest of all at 11 percent while the northeastern provinces were the lowest at 6.1 percent, with public employment filling many gaps.

More than half of those looking for work (56.5%) were reported to have been looking for work for six months or more without success, while almost a third (30.9%) were still in their first three months.

GDP data

Unemployment data was the second good economic news this week for the government after positive growth data.

Argentina’s economy has grown at the fastest pace since 2018 at the start of this year, as higher agricultural prices boosted exports, while investment and consumer spending continued to recover from last year’s crash. .

Gross domestic product increased 2.6% from the previous quarter, exceeding economists’ expectations for an increase of 2.3%. Over the past year, Argentina’s economy has grown 2.5% in the first quarter, its fastest pace in three years, according to INDEC.

Exports jumped 19.2% on a quarterly basis, helped by higher prices for soybeans and other commodities. Capital spending jumped 6.1%.

Argentina’s economy will grow this year for the first time since 2017, according to the Central Bank’s monthly survey, as business activity picks up after the slowdown caused by the pandemic.

However, analysts predict a contraction in the second quarter, according to the bank’s monthly survey. A strict lockdown during part of May and a strike by farmers to protest a temporary beef export ban likely weighed on activity during that time.

– TIMES / NA / BLOOMBERG

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