A 22-percent increase in Mexico’s minimum daily wage took effect on January 1.
The agreement to raise the salario minimo had been announced a month earlier by the National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami).
The new general minimum wage throughout most of Mexico will be 172.87 pesos per eight-hour day, approximately $US8.07.
For the Free Economic Zone in the northern border area of Mexico, comprising 43 municipalities, the minimum wage will be 260.34 pesos per day, approximately $US12.15.
When President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018, the minimum daily wage stood at 88.36 pesos. He has overseen hikes of 16 percent in 2019, 20 percent in 2020 and 15 percent in 2021.
Despite these increases, Mexico’s minimum wage remains a fraction of levels in U.S. states, which average out at $US11.80 an hour.
According to the National Statistics Institute (Inegi), almost 11 million salaried and “informal” workers in Mexico earn the minimum wage or less.
Although many workers earn more than the minimum salary, the annual hikes serve as a point of reference for increases to large numbers of low-income employees. However, employers are not obliged to give these better-paid workers a 20-percent pay raise.