Mexico’s Jobless Rate at Multiyear Low

4/21/2017 The Wall Street Journal

33343292040_4c09135b2e_kMexico’s unemployment rate held steady in March at a multiyear low amid solid job creation in the private sector, which kept supporting consumption growth.

Unemployment among Mexico’s 54 million workforce was 3.5% seasonally adjusted last month, practically unchanged from February even as more people sought work, the National Statistics Institute said Friday. Underemployment and informal employment both fell from the previous month.

The March job numbers were “unambiguously good,” suggesting the economy has strengthened in early 2017, against expectations, PNC’s economist Bill Adams said in a note.

“In January, Mexico had seemed at risk of a recession in early 2017, even if Mexico’s trade relations with the United States remained status quo, because of large increases in energy prices and interest rates, as well as sharp drops in business and consumer sentiment,” he said.

Employment growth has lowered the jobless rate to pre-2008 crisis levels, supporting household spending, although a recent uptick in inflation has led to declines in real wages as consumer prices outpaced average contract wage raises in the first three months of the year.

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