Pay cuts hit 15.2 million Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tough impact on the Mexican economy

Pay cuts hit 15.2 million Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic
15.7 million Mexicans are facing unemployment during the pandemic - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 25/07/2020 15:25 Mexico City Actualizada 15:50

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COVID-19 does not only affect the health of thousands of Mexicans who contracted it, but it also maimed the health of the wallets of thousands of workers who saw how their income reduced during the lockdown. 46.1% of the employed population in the country, that is, 15.2 million people older than 18 years old, saw how their earnings were reduced since last April due to the health emergency, according to a phone survey about COVID-19 and the labor market done by Mexico’s  Geography and Statistics Institute (INEGI).

37.4% of homes who experienced lower income levels had to sell something, ask for loans, or use their savings to face the crisis, as explained by Edgar Vielma, the INEGI’s general director of Sociodemographical Statistics.

“This means that its complement (62.6&) had to simply face the reduction without support, a loan, or savings,” he added.

Unemployed
The number of unemployed adults rose to 15.7 million that is divided in the next way: 2.1 million new unemployed and 13.6 million of the non-economically active population that is available to work.

Of the 13.6 million people who are available to work, 87.1% (11.9 million) were people who were absent from their jobs or who wished to be employed but who did not look for a job due to COVID-19, while 12.9% (1.7 million) were absent or wished to work but did not look for a job due to other reasons (lack of raw materials, clients, and vacations, mainly).

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The survey detailed that there are 32.9 million people in Mexico who comprise the employed population. The number represented an employment rate of 48.2% of the citizens who are older than 18 years old and who use a phone.

Of the 32.9 million employed people, 7.2 are temporarily absent from their job or were suspended during the health contingency, a number that represents 21.8% of the employed.

New normal
Stemmed from the social distancing measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, in April,  23.5% of the employed had to work from home, 42.3%had a shorter workday during the contingency; 5% received some kind of government support, and 90% did not receive any benefit.

Of the 7.7 million people who worked from home, 3.4 million were men (44.1%) and 4.3 million were women (55.9%). In addition to working from home, this segment also performed other activities, which not only represented a double activity in many cases but also increased workload.

Of all the employed, 75% said they had the security and hygiene conditions at their work to face the contingency whereas the other 25% said they did not.

Burial services on the rise
The INEGI reported that the demand for burial services at large companies grew during the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the INEGI’s National Survey of Funeral Homes, the monthly average went from 351 in February to 516 in May, a 47% hike.

Services at medium funerary homes grew 25% by going from 108 to 135 during the same period; small funerary homes remain stable with 47 to 48 services on average, while those from micro-businesses went from 12 to 16 on average.

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At half of all burial services homes, total costs remain unchanged during the contingency caused by COVID-19; one-third of them reduced their prices and 17.1% rose them. Compared to the employed population, eight out of 10 companies remained the same, 9.6% reduced their staff, and 6.7% increased it.

Four out of 10 companies changed the length of the vigil; 27.1% modified the paperwork; 26.7% reduced waiting times; 12.5% refused provision of the service, and 38% made other changes.

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