With the third round of payment of the Emergency Family Income (IFE) already underway, the Government advances in the analysis of whether or not there will be a fourth round. One of the elements to define what will happen with this benefit, which had been designed as something exceptional in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is what are the chances that those who collect the $ 10,000 bonus can be inserted into the labor market when the new normality arrives.
With unemployment on the rise, officials admit that it will be difficult for a good part of IFE holders to get a stable job.
At the start of the pandemic, 62% of the 9 million bondholders were unemployed or had jobs “in the black”. The informal sector is the hardest hit by the quarantine, which especially affects these types of enterprises or trades, so it is to be expected that with the deepening of the quarantine these numbers have worsened.
Five months after the quarantine, officials acknowledge that access to the post-IFE job market will be complex. In an interview with the newspaper El Cronista, the head of ANSES, Fernanda Raverta, admitted that “it is going to be complicated” to employ people who lost their jobs and today receive the IFE. The official said that in the last two years three out of every four beneficiaries of the bond “did not have any type of formal (labor) contribution.” And she remarked that “our problem transcends the pandemic and has to do with an economic model like the one carried out by the previous government that increased the levels of poverty and indigence and that still generates consequences.”
This week began the payment of the third batch of the IFE that will last until September. In the coming days, officials will have to define whether to extend the benefit or to replace it with another type of aid.
Raverta indicated that they still have no details about what will happen to the IFE from now on. “We are evaluating different proposals, not only us but all areas of the Government.” After the pandemic “there will be a huge number of people who will be incorporated into formal work, but there will also be those who will find it more difficult and who will have to continue caring.”
The outlook for the labor market is not good. Data from the Observatory of the Argentine Social Debt of the UCA indicate that the unemployment rate rose almost 50% in the last quarter: it went from 10.4% in March to 15.5% in the period between April and June.
The director of the Observatory, Agustín Salvia, said in dialogue with Cadena 3 that in three months a million jobs were lost.
According to ANSES data, in the national average 44% of the Economically Active Population (EAP) receives the IFE. In some northern provinces, such as Santiago de Estero and Formosa, it reaches 80%.
Blank employment under the impact of the coronavirus
The breakdown of the IFE shows that of the 9 million people who receive the bonus, 5.6 million (61.7%) are informal workers or are unemployed; 2.4 million receive the Universal Allowance for Child (AUH) or for Pregnancy (AUE); 0.7 million (7.8%) are monotax of categories A, B or social monotax; 0.18 million (2.1%) are private home workers and 0.12 million (1.4%) are holders of PROGRESAR.
In addition, only 9.3% of the beneficiaries of the bonus had at least one month of work in a formal dependency relationship in the period that elapsed between February 2019 and January of this year.