Poverty has grown among employed workers, and even more among registered ones

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The increase in the impoverishment of the workforce is the most relevant data that emerges from the microdata of the EPH (Permanent Household Survey) of the fourth quarter of 2022 that INDEC released on Friday.

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During the past year, poverty among the employed rose from 25.8% to 30.5%, exceeding the pre-pandemic level. they are more than 5.5 million workers formal or informal urban nationals living in poor households. There are nearly a million more employed poor people in just one year.

This working reality has dragged the families and the child poverty (under 14) is skipped from 51.1% to 56.5%, with an increase among the over-65s from 13.1% to 16.9%.

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In relation to the total population (urban and rural), the poor numbered almost 19 million at the end of last year. The poverty index reaches 40.9% against 36.5% at the end of 2021although it is estimated that these figures should now be higher due to skyrocketing inflation and especially the values ​​of basic baskets, especially food.

Several factors coincide in this reality of generalized impoverishment of workers: I rising inflationTHE loss of purchasing power started in 2018 and now uninterrupted for five years without being revoked, the reduction in labor costs, due to precariousness, informal work or deals that close below inflation, among other reasons. Even him rising food priceswhich mainly affects the lower income sectors.

This increase in poverty has occurred with more businesses, more people employed (unemployment decreases) and in all working methods, albeit proportionally, increases more among members, with a pension discount, where one in 5 registered workers has an income below the poverty line. There are just over half a million registered workers living in poor households compared to a year ago.

In short, with growth, with fewer unemployed and more employed, a higher percentage of households or households ended 2022 poorer. a fortune of “growing” impoverishment.

“Among wage earners, there has been a year-on-year increase of nearly 6 percentage points in the number of formal wage earners (with a pension discount) living in poor households, rising from 13.6% in 2021 to 19.3% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Given that the formal employment rate in the economy was relatively stable between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022, these results reflect the marked deterioration in the real income of regular workers”, says Martin González-Rozada, Director of the Master in Econometrics at Torcuato Di Tella University.

Rozada adds that “the situation of employees without a pension discount is worse. At the end of 2022, 45.2% of informal wage earners lived in poor households compared to 43.2% the previous year. Among the self-employed it rose from 36.3% to 40.1%.

In short, after the rebound of 2021 after the pandemic and the quarantine, e With an increase in economic activity of 5.2% in 2022, poverty has risen from 36.5% to 40.9% in one year.

From all these data it can be deduced that the greater economic activity was based on the different forms of precariousness (full informality, hiring of employees as Monotributistas (“factureros”) and on the impoverishment of the workforce. due to falling real wages amid near-100% inflation.

This process has been building up for several years, under the previous and the current government. According to LCG consultancy real wages are 24.9% lower than in November 2017 (last peak). “While registered workers register a drop in purchasing power of 20.8% compared to this last period, informal workers are the most affected with a loss that almost doubles, reaching 41%”.

Because of this collapse in real wages, from early 2018 to late 2019, there was an unprecedented jump in those who are in work and poor. They increased from 17.3% to 24.5% of the employed population during 2018 to go back up to 27.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Thus, with an economy that has surpassed pre-pandemic activity levels, in-work poverty is higher (30.5%). And that of subscribers went from 14.5% to 19.3%.

This depletion with growth and lower unemployment has led to a loss of participation of all workers in the economic wealth generated, points out the CIFRA (Centro de Investigación y Formación de la República Argentina).

“A first drop in this sense occurred during the Cambiemos government, when overall wages went from 51.8% of the total Added Value in 2016 to 46.3% in 2019, due to a real drop in wages greater than the decrease in activity level between those years. At the end of 2020, with the post-pandemic economic recovery, there was once again a process of loss of participation in remuneration, which in 2022 stood at 44.9% of the added value”.

Source: Clarin

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