More than 73,800 jobs have been lost in Argentina since President Mauricio Macri’s inauguration in 2015, the Observatory of Foreign Trade, Production and Employment (CEPE) said Thursday.
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In a new report, the CEPE said tens of thousands have become unemployed through unjustified dismissals from the textiles, footwear and leather industries, among others.
CEPE Coordinator Paula Español said such unemployment could endanger production and, consequently, the economy: "The deficit goals are demanding and will have a negative impact on the activity and in particular on the industry… even in times of economic recovery."
The manufacturing industry has been hardest hit, registering negative 10.5 percent in the textile, footwear, leather and furniture sectors – a loss of roughly 24,550 jobs.
Agustin Amicone, a footwear union spokesman, said: "In two years we lost 7,000 jobs, including direct layoffs and voluntary redundancies… We were killed off by the increase in imports. There are no factories left standing, but for the country, the only way out is to grow."
Within the manufacturing industry, employment has fallen by as much as 31.6 percent; professionals in formal careers have dropped by 17.3 percent, and 6.5 percent of workers in the automotive sector have been cut.
Nicolas Trotta, spokesman of the Metropolitan University for Education and Labor (UMET), said: "Twenty-five of the 26 industrial subsectors destroyed employment. This belies the official analysis of the officials who maintained that the problem was of only some sectors in particular.
"When analyzing the job creation expectations of the industry and construction entrepreneurs surveyed by the INDEC, it shows that those companies that continue to cut personnel exceeded the number of those hoping to create employment. This allows us to anticipate that the next few months will be hard for employment."
CEPE coordinator Español said the trend will accelerate: "Already in the months prior to the exchange rate, employment began to show signs of stagnation. The acceleration of inflation, the fall in activity and the fiscal adjustment brought about by the agreement with the IMF will deepen this trend in the labor market, with job losses and an even greater precarization of employment.
"This will be observed both in sectors that attracted some recovery in 2017 – construction and trade – and in those that did not stop destroying employment, as it is the industrial sector."