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Working in Argentina?

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Living in Argentina, from Italy

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Argentina at a Glance

Working in Argentina

About ten years ago, many would not have considered working in Argentina the best of career moves. However, the country’s economy is slowly getting back on track. Read on for the InterNations Guide that covers contemporary conditions for foreigners working in Argentina.

Recent decades have not exactly made working in Argentina a more appealing prospect to expats. The country has been severely affected by several economic crises, starting in the 1990s. A century ago, in the early 1900s, as countless immigrants were moving to Argentina, it was among the ten wealthiest nations worldwide. In 2013, however, it posted just the 75th highest GDP per capita.

Several years of depression in the late 1990s led to a number of socio-economic problems, which rendered working in Argentina a questionable prospect. The country struggled with rising fiscal deficits and national debt, and capital flight to other nations was a big concern. Additionally, rampant inflation and, in turn, astronomical prices discouraged domestic consumption among the lower and middle classes, and unemployment increased drastically.

Overcoming the Crisis

In the early 2000s, social tensions heightened and erupted in political turmoil and public riots. Fortunately for people working in Argentina today, the economy seems to be on the mend.

Although economic growth experienced a temporary setback during the recession of 2008 and 2009, the growth rate for 2010 and 2011 rose to around 8-9%. In 2012, the GDP saw an increase of a mere 0.9%, but in 2013 there does seem to be renewed growth of up to 3%.

This gradual recovery and the hope it has inspired in the Argentine economy have once again made working in Argentina an attractive option for expatriates. Inflation does remain high, but unemployment has declined to a steady 7% after hovering around 10-15% in the early 2000s. 

Economic Overview

Although the economy is still recovering, 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 accounts for just 5% of the labor force, its export-oriented agribusiness is quite important. Thanks to cattle-breeding especially, food-processing is a major sub-sector of the Argentine industrial landscape.

The service sector is by far the largest 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 employed in that industry. Buenos Aires in particular is a veritable hub for those working in Argentina’s tertiary sector.

Future Growth

Besides the moderate economic growth for 2013, the conditions for investment in Argentina have also somewhat stabilized. Personal consumption is on the upswing, although it is still hampered by the high inflation figures.

In recent years, a few different sectors have experienced growth in particular, which is hopefully indicative of further positive developments. In fact, the country’s automotive, textile, and appliances industries have all posted record growth figures, so expats with such qualifications could possibly find their way to working in Argentina here.

The country’s tech sector looks to have the potential to become another strong pillar among Argentina’s exports, which at the moment rely heavily on mining and agriculture. Fields such as energy, information and communications technology, nano technology, green technology, military defense, and aerospace may offer career opportunities for highly qualified foreign specialists working in Argentina.


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