Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Unemployment rate reaches historic low

Mexico’s unemployment rate decreased 0.2% between October and November, reaching a level of 2.8%, the lowest level since 2005. 

According to INEGI, 1.7 million people in the available work force were unemployed in November, which is 424,199 fewer people than were unemployed in November 2021, when the number of unemployed was 2.1 million. 

According to INEGI’s National Occupation and Employment Survey, the labor force, referred to by INEGI as the economically active population (PEA), was approximately 60.6 million in November, representing 60.8% of Mexico’s total population. The PEA includes people 15 and over who are employed or are unemployed but looking for employment.

The labor force also grew by about 1.95 million people in November compared to November 2021, when it was 58.6 million.  

Construction worker in Mexico City.
A Mexico City construction worker installing support rods. Construction jobs made up 7.4% of employment in November. (Photo: Graciela López Herrera/Cuartoscuro)

Of the 60.6 million in the current labor force, 58.9 million were employed and 1.7 million were unemployed, meaning that 97.2% of the labor force had some sort of part-time or full-time employment.

The non-economically active population, made up of retired people or those dedicated to unpaid work or study, represented 39.2% of the total population. 

The unemployment rate for men decreased 0.19 of a percentage points, to 2.9%, also a record low. Among women, the number fell 0.18 of a percentage point, to 3.15%. The record unemployment rate for women is 2.8%, from May 2020. 

When divided by sector, approximately 35.6 million people were employed in services (43.4% of the total); 11.5 million in trade (19.5%); 9.7 million in manufacturing (16.5%); 6.8 million in agriculture (11.6%); 4.4 million in construction (7.4%); and 479,000 in other economic activities, which include mining, electricity, water and gas supply (0.8%). 

Mexico’s workforce in November was mainly employed in the service sector, which represents a wide swath of jobs, ranging from service providers to businesses to teachers to baristas. (Graphic: MND)

Divided by age, those between 25 to 44 comprised 46.1% of the unemployed population, which is 3.2% higher than November of last year. Individuals between 15 and 24 represent 31.6% of the unemployed population. 

The underemployment rate, which measures those with the need and availability to work more hours than they currently do, stood at 7.59% of the employed population. This is equivalent to 4,465,882 people, or 1,459,107 fewer than the same month in 2021. 

The labor informality rate was estimated to be 55.2% of the employed population, or over 32 million people. This is over 1 million more than in November 2021, but slightly less than in October of this year, when the rate was 55.3%. The informality rate measures those who work in unregistered small businesses or other informal sectors such as subsistence agriculture and those who work without social security. 

The states with the highest employment levels are Guerrero (98.9%), Michoacán (98.8%) and Oaxaca (98.7%). 

States with the lowest levels are Tabasco (95.8%), Mexico City (95.9%) and Nuevo León (96.0%). 

With reports from INEGI, Reforma and El Financiero

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