Mexico's unemployment rate stood at 3.9% of the economically active population (EAP) in March 2021, down from 4.4% in February, but up from 2.9% in March 2020, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) reported Thursday.
"The unemployed population in March 2021 was estimated at 2.2 million people, 493,000 more than in March 2020; the open unemployment rate at the national level remained at 3.9%, the lowest in three months," indicated Inegi's president, Julio A. Santaella.
The underemployed population, which declared having the need and availability to work more hours than their current occupation allows, represented 13.2% of the total employed population, a level 4.2 percentage points higher than in the same month of 2020.
The EAP decreased by 1.5 million people compared to March of last year, at the beginning of the pandemic in the country, that is, that number of Mexicans left the labor force, which now represents 57.2% of the total population of Mexico. Of the 12 million people who left the EAP in April 2020 due to the pandemic issue, the recovery is around 10.6 million for the third month of 2021.
The employed population stood at 96.1% of the EAP during March 2021. Inegi considers employed people over 15 years of age who work at least 6 hours per week and in any position. During March 2021, the employed population was 53.8 million, 2 million less than in March 2020, and 10.6 million more than in April 2020.
Informal employment in March 2021 amounted to 30.6 million and placed the rate at 56.8%, lower by 1.1 percentage points compared to March 2020. 63.2% of the employed population was concentrated in the services sector, 24.8% in the industrial sector, 11.3% in primary activities and 0.6% did not specify the activity.
Of the total employed, 69.5% work as subordinate and paid workers occupying a job, 21.6% work independently or on their own without hiring employees and 5.1% are employers. By gender, the female EAP in March was 21.6 million and the male EAP was 34.4 million, with an economic participation rate of 41.8% for women of working age and 74.3% for men.
The unemployment rate closed at 4.6% in the last quarter of 2020, up 1.2 percentage points from 3.4% in the same period of 2019. Mexico, which had a historic contraction of 8.2% in 2020, has 126 million inhabitants, according to the population census published in 2021.
In 2018, 41.9% of the population (52.4 million) lived in poverty, according to the report of the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), which estimates that the pandemic could leave another 10 million new poor.