Photo: Sairena


The number of impoverished Mexicans with full-time jobs increased by roughly 10 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) and the National Council of Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval).

In a joint report published on Tuesday, May 18, the Inegi and Coneval stated that the number of Mexicans in working poverty amounted to approximately 50.4 million during the first quarter of the year, representing an increase of 4.9 million compared to the comparable figure for the same period in 2020.

When presenting the report for the January to March period of this year, the Coneval stated that the country’s extreme working poor population — those Mexicans who are employed. but whose income does not suffice to cover even the the basic food basket needed to survive — had grown by 3.8 percentage points nationwide.

Among all working Mexicans, the percentage of those who qualify as working poor went from 35.6 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to 39.4 percent in the same period of this year.

According to the Coneval, one of the main factors that explained the increase was an annual decrease of 4.8 percent in real labor income, as a result of the rise in overall inflation, as well as the specific increase in the cost of the basic Mexican food basket, which went up by 3.7 percent in urban areas and 4 percent in rural areas in the first quarter of 2021.

According to the Coneval, a Mexican who lives in an urban area of the country has to spend an average of 1,693.38 pesos to purchase basic food items for one month, including corn, wheat, rice, meat, chicken, milk, cheese, eggs, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and non-alcoholic beverages.

For Mexicans in rural areas, the cost of the current basic basket is 1,212.69 pesos a month.

Inflation, spurred on by higher energy costs and certain food prices, has hit low-income workers far more than higher-paid workers, the Coneval said.


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