MexECON Blog

January Unemployment Unchanged at 4.8 Percent

Mexico's January unemployment rate came in at a seasonally-adjusted 4.8%, unchanged from December but still higher than the 4.6% registered in November.  The rate of joblessness now sits exactly at its six-month moving average.  The report was released today by INEGI, the official statistics agency.

Comment:   Mexican unemployment is far below its peak of 6.0% in the last recession, and it is modestly better than the 5.2% rate in January 2013.  Nevertheless, the labor market has seen little appreciable change since mid-2013.  That should be no surprise, given that Mexico's exports have recently been flat to down, and given that important domestic sectors such as construction and government spending have been very weak.  The lethargic labor market has weighed heavily on Mexican consumer spending.  These problems all help explain why the country's economic growth slowed so much in the fourth quarter.  They also suggest that growth will remain relatively weak in the near term.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management

                                                    Mexico's Unemployment Rate
                                                      Seasonally Adjusted, Percent
                                                                Source:  INEGI
Unemployment 1401

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