Argentina's unemployment rate fell to 7.2% in the second quarter of 2013 compared with 7.9% in the first quarter of the year, President Cristina Fernandez announced during a speech praising her government’s industrialization and added-value policies.
Argentina's economy, which is the third largest in Latin America, experienced a sharp slowdown last year but economic activity picked up in April and May of this year according to official data. Unemployment in the April to June period of 2012 was also 7.2%.
“This proactive policy to substitute imports, to give credits for local production, helping young Argentines to have their first manufacturing job, all of this contributes to announce that unemployment has again fallen and now stands at 7.2% from 7.9% a year ago”, said Cristina Fernandez recalling that in the fourth quarter of 2012 it had dropped to 6.9%.
With mid term elections next October President Cristina Fernandez is openly campaigning for her candidates even when she is banned by law to have political hopefuls involved in activities as opening factories, schools, improving public services.
Nevertheless Cristina Fernandez from the ribbon cutting events held video conferences with some of her candidates particularly emphasizing in job-creation investments since polls show that the loss of employment has climbed to become the main concern of Argentines in the first half of the year.
Precisely, the employment stat was announced at the opening of a washing machine factory, with 110 new jobs, and “with a local integration of 30%, of 40% at the end of the year and 60% at the start of 2014”.
She said the factory was evidence of entrepreneurs’ confidence in Argentina and also of foreign investors that with support from government loans have established joint undertakings.
Cristina Fernandez then turned to the head of the Metal Workers’ Union, UOM, Antonio Calo and asked him: “Antonio how many members did the union have in 2003 and now? Don’t need to answer you’ve told me 50.000 then and now 250.000”.
Finally she called on “comrade workers and entrepreneurs” to address the great challenge of making the table bigger “so that all Argentine workers are registered, the State can collect more taxes, the State has more funds to invest in support of production and basic services”
“The economic system of a country is like the delicate mechanism of a clock: every one and all pieces must function synchronized, so they give us the correct time; bells are ringing but we need more bells ringing”, concluded the Argentine president.