The shocking number of emplos at risk in Argentina, according to consultancy

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64% of the approximately 19 million workers in Argentina, about 12.1 million people, are at risk of losing their jobs due to policies to contain the expansion of the coronavirus, requires a report from the Analytica consulting firm, from the economists Ricardo Delgado and Rodrigo Álvarez.

Within that “at risk” group, there is a subgroup of “very high risk”, about 5.5 million people who mainly work as informal workers, monotributistas and self-employed.

A basic distinction the report makes is between workers in so-called “essential services”, which generate 41% of GDP before taxes. The rest of the sectors, he points out, “are in trouble.”

To make matters worse, the sectors most affected by the “Social, Preventive and Mandatory Isolation” measures are more intensive in employment than the unaffected ones.

According to the report, the very high risk group includes three million “unregistered and unbanked” workers, a million and a half monotributistas, half a million private house workers and another half a million self-employed workers.

Within the “high risk” group, about 3.6 million will begin to receive direct aid from the Government, by paying a direct sum of 10,000 pesos during the month of April. According to Analytica, this measure, In principle, only for one month and equivalent to 0.2% of GDP is insufficient to meet the magnitude of the challenge, but “at least it guarantees a minimum temporary income.”

The dynamics of the effect of quarantine and isolation measures on economic activity and employment is potentially explosive. As an example, Delgado and Álvarez point out that for every 10% of the 5.5 million in the “high risk” group that loses their main activity and actively seeks a new job (that is, that is registered as such by statistics of the Indec), the unemployment rate would increase 3 percentage points. Taking into account the latest known figures, this would mean an increase from 8.9 to 13% in the unemployment rate.

The impact of the activity stop It also tends to be magnified because a high-employment sector, such as commerce, which employs 19% of the universe of workers, is affected by 90% by quarantine.

Similarly, the industry employs 13% of workers, but 75% of industrial companies are compromised by government-imposed restrictions to combat the pandemic, according to Infobae.

According to the report, the new BCRA director line of credits to finance working capital of SMEs and, as we saw, would be a help for the “unregistered” sector (to the extent that they see the light at the end of the tunnel) and the Treasury funds, meanwhile, underpin direct transfers to informal workers, low-income monotributistas (A and B) and domestic workers. “

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