Businesses in Argentina are rapidly cutting jobs, complicating President Alberto Fernández's campaign pledge to reverse the country's economic situation.
Argentina lost 28,500 private sector jobs in December, the worst monthly decline in four years, according to government data released on Thursday.
The number of people employed by the private sector is the lowest since 2011, while companies have reduced staff for 22 of the last 24 months. A total of 296,000 jobs were eliminated during that period.
On Thursday, the Central Bank warned that after lowering its benchmark index rate, "there is still no firm evidence of exit from the recessionary phase".
The data comes from the Labour Indicators Survey (LIS) for January 2020, which "shows some improvement in the formal employment situation with respect to previous months.”
Compared to November 2015, private salaried employment was reduced by 245,900 people, according to the administrative records of the SIPA social security agency.
According to the report, the level of employment registered in private companies showed a slight fall of 0.1 percent in the first month of the year.
The sectors that registered the most pronounced falls were construction (8,000 workers lost their jobs) and industry (around 5,000 workers).
The number of dismissals without cause as a percentage of total registered employment has reached its lowest value in the last two years, adds the official survey.
"In the balance sheet of the last four years, 235,000 workers lost their salaried jobs in private companies. This fall could only be compensated by the growth of workers registered in the single-income tax, public employment and workers in private homes," the report reads.
In relation to the sectors, the manufacturing industry was the activity that lost the most jobs in the four years and during this period – 171,000 registered industrial jobs were lost.
Next was commerce, with a reduction of 43,000 workers, and construction, which decreased by 33,000 workers.