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Mexican Labor at A Glance

June 22, 2000
Related Topics: Global Business Issues, Featured Article
Some information about border business, compiled by Brenda Paik Sunoo and Mexican Labor News and Analysis:

  • Mexico has approximately 4,000 maquiladoras, according to the Mexican Secretary of Commerce (SECOFI).
  • As of 1998, nearly 40% of capital invested in maquiladoras came from the United States, according to (SECOFI.)
  • The maquiladora industry generated nearly half of Mexico's $118 billion exports in 1998, according to the Journal of Commerce.
  • The number of maquiladora workers rose by 10.7 percent to 1,060,217 between January 1998 and January 1999. Women make up 56 percent of the employees of maquiladora plants, according to El Financiero, a business publication.
  • With the fall in oil prices, maquiladoras will become the principal source of foreign exchange, according to the National Council of the Maquiladora Export Industry.
  • Wages as a percentage of the Gross National Product (PIB in Spanish) have fallen from 30.4 percent in 1994 to 28.3 percent in 1999. With a total population of approximately 97 million, Mexico now has 26 million people living in extreme poverty, according to Mexican government statistics.
  • A worker with a minimum wage [as low as $2.34 per hour] can only purchase 40.4 percent of the basic food basket -- excluding dairy products and meat, according to El Financiero.

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