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Unemployment in Argentina falls to 7.6%

Argentina workersArgentina's unemployment rate fell to 7.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016, the government's Indec statistics agency said.

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READ MORE Argentina unemployment 9.3% in second quarter

This is down from 8.5% in the third quarter as thousands of people stopped looking for work.

The drop came as Latin America's third-largest economy showed signs of emerging from a deep recession.

While economists estimate GDP fell by 2.5% throughout 2016, a government measure of monthly economic activity showed month-on-month upticks in November and December.

That did not boost total employment, however, as the number of Argentines with jobs remained steady at around 11.5 million.

The economically active population, including those working or actively looking for work, fell by nearly 150,000 to 12.4 million.

“The drop in the unemployment rate is explained almost entirely by the drop in labor participation,” said Jorge Colina, economist at the Argentine Institute for Social Development, a think tank.

“At the end of the year, as the holidays approach, they give up looking and plan to try again in March.”

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