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“It’s A Shame For Argentina” – Workers Escape To Jobs Abroad As Economic Crisis Worsens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Shocked by President Mauricio Macri’s drubbing in elections this month many Argentines have begun calling and emailing in droves in search of work in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, head hunters told Reuters.

The issue spans the the entire employment spectrum, from graduate students looking for their first job in a new field, to executives. Some head hunters can name the executives, and some search specialists say the resumes that have deluged their offices in those countries peaked after Macri lost ground to a center-left Peronist challenger in the Aug. 11 primary elections, causing the peso to plummet in value.

Unfortunately for Macri, leftist Alberto Fernandez is now the front-runner in the upcoming Oct. 27 general election and has said he will seek to renegotiate a $57 billion loan International Monetary Fund deal agreed by Macri amid growing fears of a default.

Next door, in Chile, recruitment firm Randstad said the pressure for jobs among Argentine applicants has been building for months as the Argentine economy has sputtered out. Their rate of applications for jobs in Chile increased by 246% between May and August this year compared to last.

“I think people feel a bit of despair,” said Nicholas Schmidt, department head of executive search firm Spencer Stuart’s financial services division in Chile, who received a flood of emails and phone calls after the primaries.

“I get a sense that going forward we are going to be seeing a lot of very bright Argentine candidates. It’s a shame for Argentina,” he said.

Inside Argentina, companies helping to export workers are experiencing a boom.

Bernardo Carignano, creator of the visa assistance website “Yo me animo y vos”, said he saw traffic to his site increase the week after the primary election to the highest levels since it went online in 2008.

“On Instagram, too, in these last weeks, we have noticed our followers are increasing much more daily than in previous weeks,” he said.

A spokesman for Argentina’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security said it did not have access to migration data.

When he was first elected back in 2015, Macri was greeted as a breath of fresh air for the economy. Recruiters said they were confident that Macri would work out: However, that feeling of pervasive optimism has faded.

Several Argentine candidates told potential recruiters that Macri, elected in 2015 on a pledge to “normalize” Latin America’s third largest economy, had been their hope for an economic turnaround after a decades-long cycle of peso weakness and inflation.  

“There was a sense of hope with him, a lot of people went back (to Argentina) and worked in government,” Schmidt said. “People wanted to stay and felt things were going to improve significantly going forward.”

Instead, Macri has been accused of failing to attract sufficient foreign direct investment while underestimating the inflationary effect caused by cuts to utility subsidies that Argentines had long taken for granted.

Today, unemployment stands at 10 percent, inflation at 55 percent and the poverty rate between 27 and 35 percent.

But many of Macri’s promises never panned out. His decision to devalue the country’s currency destroyed the wealth accumulated by millions of retirees. And his decision to beg the IMF for the biggest bailout in the organization’s history.

Kevin Gibson, chief of the Latin American division of Robert Walters, a large British head-hunting firm, said he had seen a steady upwards trajectory since 2017 in applicants for roles in Brazil, Mexico and Chile from Argentine candidates.

In the week after the primary vote alone, the number of applicants doubled. Colombia has also attracted interest from Argentines.

In Brazil, Gibson said the potential further losses of Argentina’s human capital would be other economies’ gain.

“Argentines are extremely flexible salary wise and have a very good reputation in the region,” he said. “It’s been gradual as different people have different pain points and family commitments but this most recent news will definitely bring a huge spike.”


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