(Adds context for unemployment rise, data employment rate)
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Argentina’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, government data showed on Tuesday, underscoring weakness in Latin America’s third largest economy which is battling a recession.
Hurt by declines in industrial output and consumer spending, Argentina’s economy slid into recession in the first quarter. Economists say its default last month will likely cause the contraction to worsen.
The jobless rate compared with 7.1 percent in the first quarter, and 7.2 percent in the April-June period of 2013.
Unemployment data in Argentina shows the official number of the people looking for a job who cannot find one. The rate of employment compared with the total population paints a bleaker picture and suggests many more rely on subsidies.
The employment rate fell in the second quarter to 41.4 percent from 41.8 percent, the lowest since the first quarter of 2006, the government data showed. (Reporting By Alejandro Lifschitz.; Writing by Sarah Marsh. Editing by Andre Grenon)