International Business

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Argentina Unveils Program to Fight Joblessness: The Latin American country plans to spend more than $10 billion on housing and other infrastructure programs over the next five years. "The reactivation of the construction industry will be the cornerstone of our growth policy, achieving a rise in employment until the end of the century," President Carlos Menem said. The government said unemployment reached a record 18.6% in May, compared to 12% last October. The national mortgage bank would make more than $1.5 billion in home loans available to finance the construction of 100,000 low-cost homes, which would create 150,000 jobs, Menem said. Another 50,000 people would be employed on a $5.2-billion program to improve Argentina's road, subway and rail systems.

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