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Mexico one of two Latin American countries to record wage decrease

Mexico City, Mexico —  According to an ECLAC and International Labor Organization (ILO) study, Employment in Latin America and Caribbean, Mexico and Peru are the two countries where real wages have fallen this year in relation to last year.

The study took into consideration six areas, of which two, Peru and Mexico, recorded a decrease in basic salaries by at least one percent.

“The wage data captures only the variation in the formal enterprises of the economy, and part of the deterioration of the labor situation in the region lies precisely in the lack of dynamism in the creation of formal salaried jobs, with an increase in jobs by own account, whose income evolution may be different,” the report said.

International organizations pointed out that it is likely that the employment situation will continue to deteriorate to the end of the year, where self-employment will dominant other forms of employment.

The nominal wage earned by nearly eight million Mexican workers is 80.04 pesos in 2017, making it the third lowest in Latin America. However, the real minimum wage, which considers increases in the inflation rate was 63.50 pesos in June, taking wages below the welfare line according to data from the National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami) and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Faced with the difficulties, the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) demanded the government increase wages from 80.04 to 95.24 pesos which would, at the very least, help Mexicans position themselves in line with welfare status as established by the National Council of Evaluation of the Politics of Social Development (Coneval).

According to Bloomberg, Mexican laborers worked, on average, a total of 2,246 hours in 2015, the most of the 35 OECD member countries. But those workers earned on average a total of only $14,867, the lowest in the OECD and far behind second-to-last Hungary, where workers made 19,999 in 2015.

US workers labored, on average, for 1,790 hours in 2015, bringing home $58,714.

Gerardo Esquivel, an economics professor in Mexico City and at Harvard said, “The situation is serious to such a degree that it violates what’s stipulated in the Constitution,” adding, “The minimum salary must guarantee a decent standard of living.”