57% of Mexico's economically active population work in informal employment

In the last quarter of 2017, there were a total of 30.2 million employed in informal economic activities
Street vendors in Mexico City - Photo: Jorge Serratos/EL UNIVERSAL
Rubén Migueles
Mexico City
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During the last quarter of 2017, a total of 30.2 million people in Mexico were reported to have been engaged in one of the modalities of informal employment, that is, 57% of the economically active population has an informal job, according to the results of the National Survey of Employment and Occupation, prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 

When comparing the numbers to those of the last quarter of 2016, we find that Informal employment has grown by 1.1% whereas unemployment has dropped. During the quarter October-December of 2016, unemployment rate reached 3.5% but for the same period in 2017, it was established at 3.3% –  that is, 1.8 million people.

The states with the highest unemployment rates are Tabasco, with 6.9%, Mexico City with 4.8%, Querétaro, with 4.6%, Baja California Sur with 4.3%, Tamaulipas with 4.3%, and the State of Mexico and Coahuila, with 4.1%, both.

Given unemployment is higher in larger citites, it's not surprising to find higher unemployment rates in areas where the labor market is more organized. Thus, urbanized areas with 100,000 inhabitants or more have average unemployment rates of 3.9%, while rural areas of 2, 500 inhabitants or less have an average rate of 2%.


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