Long Working Hours Persist in the Mexican Labor Market

It is estimated that between 40 and 48 hours a week is the norm for roughly half of the Mexican workers, well within the limits set by the Federal Labor Law.

Long Working Hours Persist in the Mexican Labor Market
Half of Mexican workers have legal working hours, but 27% work more than the limit. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Half of the workers in Mexico have working hours that are within the legal limit, with between 40 and 48 hours per week, the ceiling established by the Federal Labor Law. Additionally, 27% of salaried workers work longer than the legal limit.

The length of the workday is one of the most persistent problems in the Mexican labor market. In most cases, the workday is close to or even longer than the maximum number of hours allowed by law.

Mexicans work a lot; 5 out of 10 salaried workers work between 40 and 48 hours per week, according to figures from Inegi's ENOE (National Occupation and Employment Survey). And three out of 10 have working hours of more than 49 hours per week.

Although it depends on the region and the type of employment, a large part of the workers in this country have salaries between one and three minimum wages per month. In addition to working a lot and earning little, this hurts other indicators such as mental health and the availability of free time.

Overview of the Challenges and Issues in the Mexican Labor Market

The Mexican labor market consists of the economic, social, and legal ties that pertain to the employment of labor in Mexico. It is governed by Federal Labor Law and other federal, state, and local rules and regulations.

The majority of workers in Mexico are employed in the informal sector, which consists of both self-employment and informal wage labor. The formal sector, which consists of salaried employment in the public and private sectors, is considerably smaller.

The Mexican labor market presents several obstacles and problems. The length of the workday, which frequently surpasses the legal limit of 48 hours per week, is a chronic issue. Additionally, wages in Mexico are typically low, particularly in the informal sector. This can make it difficult for employees to afford essentials and enhance their standard of living.

Other problems in the Mexican labor market include a lack of employment security, restricted access to benefits and safeguards, and a dearth of promotion and career development possibilities. There are also substantial differences in the labor market based on gender, amount of education, and other criteria.