Is 2023 the year of nearshoring or informality?
At the end of 2018, approximately 31.2 million Mexicans worked in the informal sector. Five years later, that number has risen to around 33.1 million. During this presidential term alone, 1.9 million people have joined the informal economy, which equates to about 380,000 individuals per year.
Informal labor in Mexico has become a dynamic and significant phenomenon. It contributes between 22% and 24% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 55% of the total employment. In July 2023, 774,000 jobs were created, with approximately three-quarters of them being informal, totaling around 565,000 positions. Surprisingly, in the year 2023 so far, 87% of the new jobs created fall into the category of informality, surpassing the 33 million mark for informal workers in the country.
This rise in informality presents significant challenges, as informal workers lack access to labor benefits and live in precarious conditions. Additionally, from a fiscal and tax perspective, informal activities do not contribute to public coffers and can sometimes create unfair competition for formal workers. Despite efforts to combat informality, its prevalence has increased, raising questions about whether the informal economy is gaining ground due to its strength or if the formal economy is weakened in comparison.
Informality has become a powerful and challenging phenomenon, and its persistent growth raises questions about who benefits politically from its existence. Despite a relatively good economic year in 2023, with record levels of Foreign Direct Investment and increasing economic growth, informality continues to exert significant influence on the Mexican labor market. In comparison to topics like "nearshoring" in Mexico, which are widely discussed online, informality attracts significantly more attention in search engines, prompting questions about how to effectively address this challenge in the future.
El Economista. (2023, Septiembre 1). El 2023 es el año del nearshoring o de la informalidad. El Economista. https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/opinion/El-2023-es-el-ano-del-nearshoringo-de-la-informalidad-20230901-0010.html