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Unemployment closed at 9.1% in 2018; 1,750,000 are unemployed

During 2018, a year in which economic activity fell 2.5%, unemployment increased from 7.2% to 9.1% of the urban active population, according to INDEC data for the fourth quarter of 2018. There are 1,750,000 unemployed, 400,000 more than in the same period of 2017, for the whole country. Given that the Indec sample is in urban areas, these numbers of people come out of projecting at national level the figures of the 31 urban agglomerates surveyed by INDEC data that does not include the rural labor market. In 2018, employment fell from 43% to 42.2% of the population: it fell from 17,150,000 to 17,000,000, with 150,000 less employed. But among those who kept their jobs or found an occupation, job insecurity grew as the rate of underemployment. it went up from 10.2 to 12%. There are 2.3 million, 370,000 underemployed more than a year earlier.

According to the economist Claudio Lozano, “the fall in employment is mainly explained by the destruction of registered jobs, although offset by the increase in other occupational categories.”

Employment also fell slightly compared to the third quarter: from 42.5 to 42.2%, almost 50,000 fewer employed.

In turn, among wage earners there was an increase in labor informality: it went up from 34.2% to 35.3% (wage earners without a retirement discount). In total 4.6 million “in black”, without counting self-employment.

As a consequence of all these figures, it can be deduced that in a context of lower activity and falling income, people who were ‘full employees’ went on to work less hours, while another segment descended to informality.

The INDEC also points out that if the unemployed, plus the employed and underemployed looking for another job, and the employed and underemployed who are willing to work more hours, the “pressure on the labor market” increased from 27.3 to 32, 9%

This means that there are more than 6,200,000 workers who “press” on the labor market in search of a better occupation or employment: 1.2 million more than a year ago.

Melisa Sala, of the LCG consultancy, says that “even with these data, we can say that employment held up quite well the fall and the adjustment was made through a drop in real salaries that was 12% year-on-year.” During 2018, companies preferred not to dismiss employees to avoid costs of dismissal and rehire. He adds: “Therefore, we do not believe that there will be any dynamism in the creation of employment in 2019. It will be difficult to see an unemployment rate below 9.5% during the first half of the year, rather than the marginal creation of employment. key will go through the recomposition of wages, that will be the thermometer of the labor market Lorenzo Sigaut Gravina, from Ecolatina, points out that “the fall in real wages recorded during the past year caused the” additional worker “effect: more people from the household looking for a job to be able to buy the same as before. underemployment went from 10% in the last quarter of 2017 to 12% in the same period of 2018. Sigaut says that “the labor market will not recover and unemployment will rise again with respect to the annual average last year.” Even validating the official and optimistic hypothesis that the economy would have already reached its floor, the labor market would not be strengthened For this economist, the main sectors that will attract the GDP will be those linked to agricultural activity, a branch that has limited opportunities for job creation -more investment in machinery than in labor-. In contrast, those intensive labor sectors, among which stand out some branches of industry and trade, will remain in red during almost all 2019.

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