Monday, April 25, 2011

Poor Jobs, but Lots of Them

So far in 2011, Mexico has created 271,000 new jobs. That's a relatively good number that indicates a more robust recovery than might have been expected. Assuming the cutoff is March 31, Mexico is on pace to create more than a million jobs for the first time in a long time. In 2010, the first year out of the recession (typically an anomalously big year for job creation), just 730,000 jobs were created.

Now, the bad news: as is typically the case in Mexico, good employment numbers are submarined by inconvenient facts about the quality of the jobs. The average salary in Mexico is just 246 pesos a day, which is roughly $20. Most of the new jobs pay between 3,000 and 7,000 pesos a month, according to an independent firm, a salary at which ends struggle to meet. More on that here: also said that salaries are falling behind and Mexicans' buying power has become more precarious in recent years.

"The majority of Mexicans are in a range of one to two minimum salaries [somewhere between 50 and 120 pesos a day], this has grown in the past year, and approximately 20 percent of the working population earns somewhere from two to three minimum salaries", said Margarita Chico, director of México.

Plus, according to economist Jesús Sánchez Arciniega, Mexico needs 1.3 million new jobs a year to feed the labor market, so we're not quite there yet, positive numbers from the first quarter notwithstanding.

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