(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s employment market had its worst March in a quarter of a century as the global coronavirus pandemic took its toll on Latin America’s second largest economy.
The country lost more than 130,500 jobs in the month from February after the employment market shrank 0.6%, according to a statement from the Mexican Social Security Institute, IMSS.
The net job losses were the first for the month of March since 2002 — and the most since 1995 — highlighting the bleak forecast this year for Mexico’s economy.
Some economists expect the country to fall into a deeper recession than the devastating Tequila Crisis that rattled its currency in the mid-1990s. Bank of America forecasts the economy to contract 8% this year and eventually lose its investment grade rating.
Despite net job losses, base salaries grew by an annual nominal rate of 7.1% to 399.3 pesos, after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador decreed increases in the minimum wage.
AMLO, as the president is commonly known, has vowed to create 2 million jobs over the next nine months, a major undertaking considering Mexico created only about 342,000 net jobs in all of 2019, the president’s first full year in office.
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