Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Minimum wage to jump 22%, business group says

The National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami) agreed to bump the minimum wage by 22% next yar, the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) said. 

Low wage earners will earn a daily rate of 172.87 pesos (US $8.11) in most of Mexico in 2022, up from the current rate of 141.70 pesos ($6.65).

The minimum wage is higher on the U.S. border, where the 43 municipalities in the Northern Border Free Zone will enjoy a daily rate of 260.34 pesos. The 25-kilometer stretch is given special treatment in economic matters: it was created by President López Obrador in 2018 to improve the local economy and dissuade would-be migrants from crossing the border. 

Conasami itself has not yet announced the increases. 

The CCE said in a statement that the hike would improve workers’ lots relative to an established economic standard for family well-being. “The increase will reflect in a real improvement in the purchasing power of workers. With this, the minimum wage of the Northern Border Free Zone will cover 112% of the family welfare standard, and the minimum wage for the rest of the country will cover 74% [of the standard].”

It added that social issues were important to the private sector: “it is a priority for the private sector to provide solutions to the challenges facing our country, in the face of the economic reactivation after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the finances of Mexican families so much.” 

The Mexican minimum wage is one of the lowest in the Americas. In the United States, the lowest legal pay is $7.25 per hour, more than the current daily rate in Mexico.

President López Obrador has complained that the minimum wages of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are higher than that of Mexico, which was raised 15% from 123.2 pesos at the start of this year.

An anti-poverty organization said earlier in November that the minimum wage should be increased by 30% in 2022.

However, many workers will be feel relieved by the 22% hike amid soaring prices: the first half of November recorded inflation over 7%, the highest rate in 20 years.

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