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economy ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Unemployment rose to 9.6% in second quarter of 2018, reports INDEC

Applied to the population, that would equate to almost two million people in Argentina without a job, compared to 1.75 million in 2017.

Thursday 20 September, 2018
A man walks along the street in downtown Buenos Aires.
A man walks along the street in downtown Buenos Aires. Foto:EITAN ABRAMOVICH-AFP

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Unemployment rose in the second quarter of 2018 to 9.6 percent – the highest figure in 12 years, according to local outlets.

The figure stood at 8.7 percent in the same quarter last year. Applied to the population, that would equate to 1,998,387 people, or almost two million people currently without a job, La Nación reported.

The data, reported by the INDEC national statistics bureau and drawn from 31 of the most important urban centres in the country, is an increase of almost one percentage point on the same period the year previous and a rise of 0.5 points from the previous quarter. In the six months of the year, jobless figures have now risen by 2.4 percent. 

In its report, INDEC reported in the year-on-year comparison that "there is a statistically significant increase in unemployment and activity rates with respect to the second quarter of 2017."

The two sectors of the economy that produce the most jobs, manufacturing and domestic trade, registered falls in activity of 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent year-on-year.

The statistics bureau said that underemployment, people who seek to work more hours and do not find them, stood at 11.2 percent in the second quarter, 0.2 percent higher than the figure from the same period of 2017.

The news comes hot on the heels of another piece of INDEC data, which revealed yesterday that economic activity fell by more than four percent in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period a year earlier.

The 4.2-percent contraction posted by INDEC means that Argentina's GDP shrank by 0.5 percent in the first half of the year in total. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP slumped by 3.9 percent.

Argentina is currently experiencing a financial crisis with soaring inflation and a sharp devaluation of the peso, the national currency, against the dollar. The government has warned of a "long and painful" recession.

Nearly half of all Argentines foresee a "worse" economic future for their children, a new Pew Research Center study has found.

- TIMES/NA/AFP

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