The German magazine Der Spiegel published back in 1993 an issue with a drawing on its cover mentioning “Dr. Arbeitslos” (Dr. Unemployed) which reported on the dubious future of holders of post-graduate degrees in a labor market that seemed to have no need for them.
Hence, the abyss a college degree might lead to is nothing new. But in Argentina, where education at all levels is free of charge even for foreigners 160,000 graduates losing their jobs in one year is something to pay attention to.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census report released last week, that number applied to the first quarter of 2022, while openings for unskilled, blue-collar workers are on the rise.
The Indec's Permanent Household Survey (EPH) assesses both formal and informal employment in 31 urban buildups nationwide.
With a working population of 29 million out of 47 million inhabitants, only 40.4% of the total number of workers have higher or university-level studies (finished or unfinished).
According to Infobae, for each new job requesting a college graduate 4 openings were created for people with just a high-school diploma and 20,000 for those with grade school degrees. The number of new jobs for those with higher education and college degrees fell by 48,300 in the first quarter of 2022 when compared to the same period in 2021 even under ASPO (Mandatory Preventive Social Isolation).
Indec studies carried out since 2017 have so far failed to reflect any growth in job opportunities for those with a higher education against a loss for those with little to no formal schooling, which was, in theory, to be expected in the era of high technology and the development of the so-called cultural industries. At the end of the day, professionals accounted for only 1 in 10 job opportunities, the latest study showed. It meant a loss of 112,500 jobs between January and March of 2022.
The survey also found that the rest of the segments expanded concerning the first quarter of 2021: 326,250 technicians (9.1%); 544,300 workers (5.5%); and 324,000 unskilled and undefined workers (9%), totaling almost 4 million positions, or to 1 out of 5 paid.
Despite such precariousness in the labor market amid a socioeconomic scenario where 40% of the total population is in a state of poverty, the Indec measurement also recorded a significant jump in the absent employed, from 2.4% in the last quarter of 2021 to 10.2%. This group includes those with a formal job who did not work during a given week, due to vacations, sick or other types of leave, such as a suspended-with-pay case, or absent due to other causes provided for in labor legislation.