Job creation numbers in April — at 30,419 — were down a whopping 65% compared to last year, according to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
The institute noted that figure was affected by Holy Week falling in April this year, meaning there were fewer work days during the month.
However, a general slowdown in job creation has been recorded during the first four months of the year. From January until April, 299,562 jobs were created, 34.2% fewer than in the same period last year. It is the lowest number since 2013.
According to José Luis de la Cruz, director of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth (IDICE), the job numbers reflect a wider economic deceleration. At least seven states, mostly in southern Mexico, showed job losses or growth of less than 1% in April.
The decline in job creation could also be influenced by the Youth Building the Future program, which gives apprenticeships to young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Around 550,000 beneficiaries are working under the program, of which about 20% are in Chiapas.
More than half of the apprentices in Youth Building the Future are enrolled in IMSS, but they do not receive social security and the apprenticeships are not counted as new jobs.
“It’s evident that the south of the country still faces economic problems and doesn’t have sufficient investment to create the jobs they need,” said Dr. María Fonseca, professor of business at the Monterrey Technological Institute. “In places like Mexico City, the low job creation is a reflection of cuts in the public sector.”