Working in Argentina?

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Argentina at a Glance

Working in Argentina

About ten years ago, many of you might not have considered a job in Argentina the best career move. However, Argentina’s economy is slowly getting back on track. Read on for the InterNations dossier that covers contemporary conditions for foreigners working in Argentina.

Working in Argentina probably suffered from a negative reputation in the recent past. The country was seriously affected by several economic crises starting in the 1990s. In 1913, the countless immigrants moving to Argentina had made it the 10th wealthiest nation worldwide. However, it had dropped to the rank of 66th most affluent country by 2011.

Several years of depression in the late 1990s led to a number of socio-economic problems. Argentina struggled with rising fiscal deficits and external debt. Additionally, entrepreneurs worried about the capital flight to other nations. High inflation and astronomical prices discouraged domestic consumption among the lower and middle classes, and unemployment increased drastically.

Overcoming the Crisis

In 2001/2002, the resulting social tensions – with about 60 % of the population living under the poverty line – erupted in political turmoil and public riots. Fortunately for today’s active population working in Argentina, the economy seems to be on the mend.

Although economic growth experienced a temporary setback during the recession of 2008/2009, experts estimated a growth rate of 8-9% for 2010 and 2011. However, the GDP increased only slightly in 2012, by a mere 1.5%. For 2013, at least, economists are hoping for a renewed growth of up to 5%.

Due to the gradual recovery, working in Argentina has become a more attractive option for expatriates. Inflation continues to be high, due to the government’s expansionary monetary politics, but unemployment decreased to around 7%. Some independent experts, though, suspect that these official figures might be too low and that fewer people are actually employed. 

Economic Overview

Nevertheless, there is much to be said in favor of working in Argentina. The country is rich in natural resources, such as lead, zinc, and precious metals, and energy sources like coal, petroleum, and uranium.

Moreover, while agriculture only accounts for 5% of the labor force, its export-oriented agribusiness is fairly important. Food-processing is a major sub-sector of the diversified industrial landscape. Over 20% of the active populace is presently employed in various other industries, like manufacturing or construction.

The service sector is by far the most important branch of Argentina’s economy. Not only does it account for more than 60% of the GDP, but over 70% of all people working in Argentina are employees in the service industry. Buenos Aires in particular is a veritable hub for those working in Argentina’s tertiary sector.

Future Growth Industries

The World Bank confirmed the country’s economic upturn for the bicentennial in 2010, and the development in 2011 also remained largely positive – good news for foreigners who consider working in Argentina. After the minor setback in 2012, a positive prognosis for the harvests of 2013 and the resulting income through agricultural exports will help the Argentine economy to recover further.

Besides the moderate economic growth, the conditions for investment in Argentina have stabilized. Personal consumption is on the upswing, although it is still hampered by the huge inflation figures. Together with the excellent educational level of people working in Argentina, this positive development has led to a greater interest in high-tech products and services.

Technology-related products are hopefully bound to become another strong pillar among Argentina’s exports, which now rely heavily on mining and agriculture. Fields such as energy production and distribution, ICT, nano technology, green technology, military defense, and aerospace may offer career opportunities for highly qualified foreign specialists working in Argentina.

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