Tens of thousands of public workers across Argentina are striking to protest widespread layoffs by the administration of President Mauricio Macri.

The 24-hour shutdown is the first national strike since Macri began his presidency in December.

In Buenos Aires, several groups held rallies in major streets such as 9 de Julio, snarling traffic.

Unions representing public workers are demanding that Macri cease the trimming of payrolls and hire back thousands who have been fired.

Macri ran on promises to cut spending, and accused former President Cristina Fernandez of over-hiring for the sake of political patronage.

Macri's administration has said it has cut 6,200 workers across agencies, and that more layoffs may be coming. Unions say around 20,000 have been cut.