The Argentine workers live their day between the uncertainty generated by an electoral year of low expectations and an economic crisis that recalls the end of a government that left by helicopter to prevent everything from getting worse. According to a report by the non-governmental organization Oxfam Intermónthe minimum wage in Argentina fell 2.7% in real terms in 2022which is equivalent to 3.1 days of work, in a framework where poverty rose to 39.2%.
In 2022, the minimum wage increased 81%, from 32,000 (about $145 at the current official exchange rate) to 57,900 pesos (about $263), falling well below inflation of 94.8% for last year. A real disaster.
However, the study carried out by the NGO yields a piece of information that tinkles, not as a kind of flash of light on the other side of the tunnel, but as a warning symbol against a possible deluge: In Argentina, wages had a lower real loss than the rest of the world, of 3.2%.
The data, which seems to be taken from another reality, stands out if one takes into account that Argentina shares with Venezuela the podium of the nations with the highest inflation rates. Oxfam Intermón used information from the International Labor Organization and various state statistical agencies as the basis of its analysis.
Let us take the case of Brazil as an example, the largest economic power in Latin America and Argentina’s main partner. The real salary of Brazilian workers decreased by 6.9% in 2022a year that ended with inflation of 5.79%, compared to 10.06% in 2021.
For the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), the general level of salaries had a real loss of 2.2% in 2022, an average that hides a contraction of 15.1% in unrecorded salaries, a drop of less than 0.5% in the registered private sector and a real recovery of 2.4% in the public sector.
The latest statistics from INDEC indicate that during the first two months of 2023, the income of private workers increased 11.8%, those of the public 7.9%, and the unregistered 14.3%, which left the index at 11% against inflation of 13.1%.
Inflation and the New Labor Revolution
According to Oxfam, some 1 billion workers in 50 countries have suffered “a median pay cut of $685 in 2022”representing a combined loss of $746 billion in real terms, compared to what they would have gained if wages had kept pace with inflation.
The global crisis leads the majority of people to work longer for less money and, despite this, they cannot face the increase in the cost of living, Oxfam Intermón denounces that Global shareholder dividends hit a record $1.56 trillion in 2022a real increase of 10% compared to 2021, benefiting the richest in society and widening inequality.
In its report, Oxfam Intermón calls for a permanent increase in the tax burden on those who earn the most and to ensure the recovery of the purchasing power of wages.
Today the World Economic Forum published a report focused on the future of the world of work, the conclusion of which leads to the forecast of a deluge: there will be a revolution in labor matters that will imply the creation of 69 million jobs and the disappearance of 83 million.
Which means that there will be, at least, 14 million new unemployed. The analysis was prepared based on the responses of more than 800 top-level companies.
This kind of new revolution is driven by the so-called ecological transition, environmental, social and governance standards, in addition to the localization of supply chains, the adoption of advanced technology and digitization.
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