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Mexico shedding 20,000 jobs a day due to COVID-19

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Mexico shedding 20,000 jobs a day due to COVID-19

Job losses related to the COVID-19 crisis have accelerated in Mexico from 13,000 a day in March to 20,000 a day in April with as many as 600,000 positions possibly disappearing by the end of the month, according to a new assessment from industrial association Concamin.

The group gave the projection in a videoconference with the media, adding that seven of 10 major industries in the country expect to be paralyzed through at least May 15. Concamin projects a 7.6% contraction in GDP this year.

The association’s vice president Raúl Picard added the group estimates that the total impact of the pandemic could be 1mn job losses with 200,000 businesses shuttering forever.

Fellow vice president Alejandro Malagón told the conference that as many as half of the jobs lost would be in the industrial sector, adding that in addition to wages these workers would also face lost benefits, pensions and housing supports, according to daily El Universal.

Liquidity at many firms is drying up amid Mexico’s ratcheting up of lockdown measures with Malagón saying 9 of 10 industries are already reporting a significant drop in sales. He added that, despite this, 50.2% of companies had managed to hold onto all of their employees so far.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has repeatedly insisted that major firms should not reduce staff or wages through the crisis, but has offered nothing in the way of federal assistance to large companies.

On this, Picard said, “An entrepreneur should not be obliged to do the impossible,” reported daily La Jornada.

"Any entrepreneur has the right to lay off, in accordance with the law, any person they cannot support," he said. However, he stressed that it is about helping companies and keeping jobs. "I wish we could help our employees, our entrepreneurs." 

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