"They cannot live with dignity" - State Secretary of Labor
The Jalisco Secretary of Labor reported yesterday that six out of 10 employed state residents earn an average of 200 pesos per day. At the current exchange rate of 13 pesos to the dollar, that represents about $15 USD.
"It's not enough for them to live with dignity," said Secretary Eduardo Almaguer, who noted that the demand for local jobs greatly exceeds availability. Mexican unemployment stats paint a bleak picture for the most well educated.
"We are aware of many places that pay only 500 or 700 pesos a week," added Almaguer. "But even better paid manufacturing or industrial sector jobs which average 900 or 1,000 pesos a week are not sufficient."
A July 2013 study by academic investigators at the University of Guadalajara found that 61% of Jalisco state residents are unable to purchase basic foodstuffs and household necessities. The researchers attributed the problem to chronically poor wages, inflation and an anemic peso. Over 60% of Jaliscans earn less than subsistence income.
In December the Mexican Institute of Social Security reported that the nation generated almost a quarter million fewer jobs last year than it did in 2012. Sluggish labor market a victim of Mexico's economic backslide in 2013. Statistics released by the same agency in February were the worst since 2009. Mexican economy continues to shed jobs.
About 60% of the Mexican labor force work in the so-called informal economy, in self-employment enterprises. Such workers enjoy no benefits, have no safety net and live on what they can earn from day to day sales and services. The new PRI administration is struggling to change that. Enrique Peña Nieto announces plans to get more workers on real payrolls.
Mexico's minimum wage is 65 pesos a day, or about $5 USD. Yesterday the secretary general of a local union, the Jalisco Brotherhood of Laborers and Agricultural Workers, said that wages have lost 25% of their purchasing power since 2002.
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Dec. 20, 2013 - Mexican minimum wage in 2014 will be $5 dollars - a day
Apr. 23, 2012 - Economic inequality is the primary cause of Mexico's insecurity
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