Young Professionals Remain Benched from WorkforceBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Fri, 08/06/2021 - 10:16
Despite surpassing economic growth expectations, Mexico has yet to bridge the loss of 2 million jobs that effectively sidelined young professionals, particularly women, between the ages of 15 and 34, reported the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
These findings were substantiated by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), which found that this demographic was especially vulnerable given that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated changes in the work force, plus the reduced cost of liquidizing young workers. The agency worries that the prolonged unemployment of this demographic will generate long-term effects beyond the pandemic, including limiting access to quality jobs and income.
Furthermore, women have been disproportionally affected as indicated by a 24 percent decline in their employment, accounting for 5.4 million jobs of the 12.5 million total lost to the pandemic. Even now, reemployment has been unequal. Female employment is still 7 percent below pre-pandemic levels, representing the continued absence of 1.5 million jobs previously held by women. In contrast, the male population is only 467,000 jobs away from reaching recorded pre-pandemic employment levels.
The study faults the lack of social support for women for the observed phenomenon, otherwise the economy could rebound at a faster pace. Mexico’s GDP could be 15 percent greater in 2030 with the incorporation of 8.2 million more women into the workforce, details the IMCO report. To accomplish this, however, government intervention is needed, starting with the reimplementation of child care services that had previously served as a lifeline to working mothers.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap report, the pandemic has added another 36 years towards closing the existing global gender gap. Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena, says that these observations over the past year are equivalent to a ten-year regression, a disappointing blow. The disparity is stark and clear and if Mexico intends to at least mitigate these repercussions it must intercede on their behalf now.