ILO Country brief

COVID-19 and the labour market in Argentina: The challenge of fighting the pandemic and its socio-economic impact at a time of severe difficulty - Executive Summary

The Argentinian employment outlook was already dire before the onset of the pandemic. The current COVID-19 crisis is going to further affect employment outlook via multiple channels, besides its health impacto, as it will affect private consumption, investment and trade. Furthermore, impacts will exacerbate the number of people entering into poverty and increase inequality. Some of the reasons are related to the fact that most affected occupational groups are those in operational or unskilled occupations. Furthermore, job losses disproportionately affect adults over 60 years and young people, as well as migrant workers. By firm size, the study indicates employment losses by those in self-employment, as well and small and medium enterprises, particularly non-registered wage workers. Overcoming these significant issues will be challenging, also compounded by the macroeconomic fragility of the country. The country has advanced on its debt renegotiations, and has enacted or strengthened measures that conform a comprehensive package for employment preservation and eventual rekindling, in line with the four pillars recommended by the ILO. However, the current fiscal space is limited with few chances of it to be expanded, indicating the need of strong monitoring of policy on roll-out, uptake and tracking impacts, as to enhance policy outcomes and either reorient expenditures or create fiscal space.