Argentina lost an average of 80 companies each week in the last three years, according to a private study released in Buenos Aires Friday, which means that when President Alberto Fernández leaves office on Dec. 9, 2023, he will leave behind a country with over 12,000 fewer companies.
A report by IERAL - Fundación Mediterránea based on data from the AFIP tax bureau showed that when the current administration came to power there were some 533,000 Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). But in just three years, until January 2023, it accumulated a loss of 12,200 companies of that size, whereas the number of larger companies grew by only 700 in the last three years.
After the collapse of 2020, only 45% of MSMEs managed to recover from the pandemic. During the first year of the sanitary crisis, the study signed by researcher Marcos Cohen Arazi showed that some 22,000 MSMEs collapsed, of which less than half were able to partially recover. The year 2020 was tremendously recessive and with the recovery of the following years it was possible to recover only 45% of the lost companies, reads the IERAL report.
At the same time, the number of autonomous workers grew exponentially: there were 270,000 new registrations since 2020, which means 1,700 new individuals per week.
The study also states that the creation/destruction of companies was not even among provinces in the last years and neither was the resulting business density at present. At a national level, it details that there are 11 MSMEs per thousand inhabitants, but there are several countries in one: Formosa and Santiago del Estero have 4 and 5 per thousand inhabitants, while Cordoba and Santa Fe have 13 and 14, respectively.
At the same time, the number of autonomous taxpayers rose from 1.63 to 1.9 million, which means 270,000 new self-employed people were registered, at an average pace of 1,700 per week.
According to the IERAL report, the number of independent workers grew at a rate of more than 5% per year in the last 3 years, three times the rate of formal private employment in the same period. Hence, ”possibly, part of these enterprises correspond to registered salaried jobs that were not created, either because there were no occupational opportunities as salaried workers, or because they were not created through the formal route (employment in a dependency relationship), the study read.
This growth probably tells us more about the pending labor reform than about a remarkable entrepreneurial boom, although there are probably both,” the research concluded.