Construction employment has already reached pre-pandemic levels

Construction employment has already reached pre-pandemic levels

Photo: Raul Ferrari.

The employment in the construction sector exceeded 390,000 jobs in October, a result that placed it at levels of December 2019, prior to the pandemic; and 17% to those of the same month of 2020, according to a report prepared by the National Directorate of Transparency of the Ministry of Public Works.

The analysis was based on figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), the Employment and Business Dynamics Observatory (OEDE) of the Ministry of Labor, and the Institute of Statistics and Registration of the Construction Industry (Ieric). .

For these three organisms, the Average year-on-year increase in October for jobs in the construction sector was 18.9%, 17.5% and 23.7%respectively.

The Ieric surveyed 359,997 jobs in construction; the INDEC, 390,011 and the OEDE 393,116.

“We see a positive trend to recover pre-pandemic values”Roxana Mazzolla

The report prepared by the area that conducts Roxana Mazzolla highlighted that, throughout the past year, “the month-on-month increase in jobs continued” and stressed that “employment registered in October 2021 exceeds that of December 2019, improving the levels achieved since the start of the pandemic“.

Employment in the sector accumulated growth of between 7.3% (OEDE) and 13% (Ieric) in the first ten months of 2021, and, although the data for November and December still remain to be computed, everything indicates that it was the first year with net incorporation of new workers in the sector since 2017, ending with three consecutive years of decline.

“We see a positive trend to recover pre-pandemic values ​​and many of the values ​​that deteriorated during the Cambiemos administration“Mazzola pointed out to Télam.

photo file
Photo: file.

For the official, goal between 2022 and 2023 is to restore the level of employment to the historical trend of 440,000 jobs, a number that was close to between 2011 and 2018 (with the exception of 2016), according to data from the OEDE and INDEC.

Meanwhile, the President of the Argentine Chamber of Construction, Gustavo Weissexplained to Télam that the area “has been recovering employment since mid-2020, and with great emphasis since the end of that year and during 2021.”

According to the three organizations surveyed, the construction sector experienced a contraction in employment between 2018 and 2019 due to the socioeconomic crisis, when it fell between 3.8% and 4%, and then fell between 22.3% and 27.1% between 2019 and 2020 due to the impact of the 2019 exchange crisis and the first wave of Covid-19.

“We are at significant levels of employment and the expectation is that it will continue to grow, incorporating people month after month,” said the business leader

The Ieric pointed out that the growth of employment last October was boosted, unlike previous months, by the arrival of new employers in the sector instead of an expansion in the plant of existing firms.

According to the same organization, the evolution of the sectoral occupation “was positive throughout the national territory”although the gross generation of jobs in Greater Buenos Aires and the rest of the province (+25%), Santa Fe (+21.3%), San Luis (+12.6%), Tierra del Fuego (+9.4%) and Catamarca (+7.8%).

Another indicator of activity sector is the consumption of inputs: According to the Indec, in November 2021, asphalt and round iron and steel increased 66.2% and 14.1% annually.

This is the first rise for both inputs in a month of November since 2017.

Photo Raul Ferrari
Photo: Raul Ferrari.

The data “could be indicating that the recovery of the sector extends to certain types of works, associated with the public work“, pointed out the document produced by the Ministry.

Public works represented almost 240,000 jobs in 2021, only taking the Ministry’s projects that include road works, water and sanitation, and care infrastructure (including hospitals and Child Development Centers), according to Télam the National Directorate of Transparency.

On the importance of sector data, Fernando Lago, member of the Chamber of Construction and the Public Works Observatory of the Ministryexplained that the activity has a “pro-cyclical character”, growing when the economy grows, and falling when the opposite happens.

In addition, he indicated that, after a crisis, the recovery of the sector is “faster” than the rest of the economy, “generating employment, direct and indirect, and promoting greater activity in a huge number of branches of production and consumption. “, in addition to serving as “leverage for private investment”.

On the other hand, regarding the prospects for activity in the sector, the Indec, through a survey of large companies in the sector, revealed favorable expectations for the period from December 2021 to February 2022.

Among the companies dedicated fundamentally to public works, the 59.7% thought that the level of activity will not change, while 32% said that it will increase and 8.3% that it will decrease.

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