Argentina's Milei To Cut 50,000 State Jobs Amid Legislative Challenges

The move is part of the president's ongoing strategy to cut public spending and reduce the national deficit.


Argentine President Javier Milei on Wednesday announced the layoff of an additional 50,000 state employees, advancing his effort to "reduce the state in half." The move comes as part of the president's ongoing strategy to cut public spending and reduce the national deficit. 

This latest round of cuts follows a March announcement in which Milei proposed slashing 70,000 jobs from Argentina's public sector work force, which employs approximately 3.5 million people. According to Infobae, 25,000 positions have been cut since March's announcement.

As a result, public employees rejected the measure and some of the largest unions in the country have called for protests. "We knew that the program was going to generate social tension. Bringing the number of ministries to half was not free," the president said during his speech at the Latam Economic Forum in Buenos Aires.

Since taking office six months ago, Milei has pledged to fix Argentina's severe economic issues, including an inflation rate that has surged to a three-decade high of over 250 percent and a poverty rate impacting 57 percent of the population. To end the crisis, Milei has slashed state subsidies, devalued the currency, and closed several state agencies. 

However, Milei's reform efforts have faced resistance within both chambers of Argentina's legislature, where his party only holds a minority of support. Milei's omnibus bill, introduced in December, was initially rejected by Congress in February. A scaled-down version of his ambitious reform package eventually passed in late April, reducing its scope from over 600 articles to just 232.

The revised package now faces further challenges in the Senate, with a critical vote expected next week. Opposition senators are gathering votes to block Milei's proposals aimed at overhauling taxes and privatizing state-owned companies, Bloomberg reports.

Despite these hurdles, Luis Caputo, Argentina's minister of economy, said that the bill will be approved eventually. "It's a matter of time," he said on Wednesday. "We are not going to stray from the goal we have set."