Although the labor market has already recovered the jobs lost due to the pandemic, the dynamics of two years of health emergency have once again given a boost to the informal economy. At the end of 2021, there were registered 32.2 million people working informally, the highest amount in history, according to the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE).
At the end of 2021, the labor market recorded a informality rate of 56.5%, the highest level of the last 27 months; in September 2019 it registered a level of 56.6 percent. In this way, the recovery of jobs in this line suggests an adaptation of employment to the conditions of the pandemic.
“We believe that the trend throughout the fourth quarter of 2021 was mostly positive for the working market, even despite signs of weakness in economic activity. In this sense, the relative resilience that employment conditions have shown in this context is favorable, suggesting that it could have already adapted to the pandemic environment,” said Juan Carlos Alderete, executive director of Economic Analysis and Financial Market Strategy at Banorte. .
In December of last year, 455,538 people joined the employed population, but all of them did so in the ranks of the informal sector. The increase in jobs was the result of an increase of 737,108 informal workers and a contraction of 281,570 formal jobs.
On the other hand, the unemployed population had a slight decrease of 70,825 people and as a result of this, the vacancy rate it stood at 3.5%, the lowest level so far in the pandemic. However, widespread unemployment, although it maintains its reduction, stands at 14.3%, largely due to the fact that the “available” non-economically active population (PNEA) still remains high.
“It is almost identical to the 2019 average of 3.49%, although this indicator usually shows strong seasonal distortions in the month and the seasonally adjusted figures point to a rate of 3.96%. In any case, the ENOE reflects that the recovery rate in the labor market has been constant and although there are still gaps to close, especially in terms of quality and inclusion, it is one of the positive aspects of 2021”, said Marcos Daniel Arias Novelo, economic analyst at Monex.
In the last month of 2021, all economic activities reported a positive balance. The agricultural sector e industrial, the latter driven by the construction, were the ones with the highest gains, reporting an increase of 116,053 and 269,202 seats, respectively.
“We believe that limitations to greater dynamism persist, with the pandemic still being a major obstacle to achieving a higher rate of progress in some sectors of the economy. In this sense, the industry continues to be limited by the shocks to supply chainsAt the same time, the influx in some services continues to be low”, said Juan Carlos Alderete.
Meanwhile, the service industry had an increase of 89,635 jobs in general terms, this was the result of gains in transportation and various services activities that offset falls in employment in commerce, restaurants, hotels, government and professional services.
“The quality of employment, labor income and the punctual recovery of some sectors, especially commerce, are pending tasks that could limit the positive effects on the economy”, explained Daniel Arias.
The balance of the working year
With the figures reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) for December 2021, the creation of 4.2 million jobs. Consequently, the unemployment rate fell from 3.8 to 3.5% in annual terms.
23% of the jobs created were driven by the industry sector, within this category the activities in manufacture were the ones that contributed the greatest job creation. The sector of services had a better performance and was responsible for 75% of the jobs created in 2021, within this line the only economic activities that present an employment deficit in the annual comparison are those of the government and international organizations.
As already anticipated, the informality it was the one that had the highest profits and 68% of the jobs generated over the past year were concentrated in this sector.
Last year the labor market managed to recover the jobs lost due to the pandemic, largely thanks to the reactivation of economic activities in sectors that were punished by mobility restrictions to stop the spread of the pandemic. Although so far no drastic changes have been seen in the confinement measures due to the increase in Covid-19 infections, the Omicron variant remains the main risk for the recovery of employment.
“Although distancing measures have remained largely unchanged, there are some establishments that have closed, such as museums in Mexico City. In addition, given the need to isolate yourself from infected people (who seem to show more moderate symptoms), we do not rule out productivity losses and even jobs”, said Juan Carlos Alderete.