The project of PIT-CNT that proposes the reduction of working hours could harm lower-skilled workers, as warned by the company Enia, linked to the development of software specialized in the application of Artificial intelligence.
In the midst of warnings against the initiative of businessmen and government officials, including the president Luis Lacalle Pou, Enia’s director Federico Comesana, He warned that this measure can bring complications to sectors with less education.
Comesaña highlighted through his X account (formerly Twitter) that in Uruguay fewer hours are worked on average than other countries and he specified that among Uruguayan formal wage earners, 55% work 40 hours or less, so “the proposed reduction would not affect them at all.”
By focusing on the consequences of the initiative proposed by the PIT-CNT, warned that “the higher the income level (corrected for time worked), it is more difficult to find jobs of more than 40 hours” and considered that “the decisive factor in this case is the educational level of the worker.”
It is that, based on own data taken from the INE, Comesaña pointed out that among workers who have only completed primary school, there are 61% with jobs of more than 40 hours, while among those who have completed some tertiary study, it drops to 26%.
Specifically, the director of Enia analyzed that in the country the employees that exceed the level of tertiary studies are barely 17% and graphed: “Not only do they work fewer hours. They have better paid jobs ($83,000 compared to $35,000 for those with basic secondary education) and more stable (2% unemployment compared to 10%)”.
The employment problem for unskilled workers
For the specialist, “there are plenty of jobs for the few qualified workers that exist and at the same time there are a lack of opportunities for the many workers who have a low level of accumulated training”, something that he described as a “very serious” problem.
Regarding this situation, he affirmed that “the unskilled have been losing the battle in recent decades”, having to compete against technological automation and globalization, which makes them compete with people from all over the world.
“Reducing the work week and maintaining the remuneration increases the hourly wage and makes the less qualified worker less competitive,” Comesaña analyzed and maintained that moving in that direction would limit the attraction of investment. Considering the scenario, she warned: “Uruguay it needs in the short term to generate employment for its less qualified workers”.