Argentina’s unemployment rate rose to 9.7% in the third quarter versus 9.0% in the same period last year, marking one of the highest rates recorded in recent years, the official INDEC statistics agency said.
The third quarter result was slightly improved from the second quarter rate of 10.6%.
Earlier in the week, INDEC said that Argentina’s economy shrank 1.7% in the third quarter versus the same period the previous year after markets and the peso currency tumbled in response to the shock results of the Aug. 11 primary election in which then-candidate Alberto Fernandez soundly beat conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri.
President Alberto Fernandez, who went on to defeat Macri in the Oct. 27 presidential elections, has vowed to emphasize growth as he takes on Latin America’s third largest economy and the challenges of higher unemployment, rising poverty and rampant inflation above 50%.
The new government announced in a decree over the weekend that Argentine workers fired without just cause over the next 180 days will be paid double the normal exit package, a change from the pro-business stance of the previous administration.
Young people were especially hard hit by unemployment, the government said, with young women suffering a jobless rate of 24%.