Mexico welcomed 2021 with high hopes after the challenging events of 2020. But with 647,710 fewer formal jobs, a 9.4 percent drop in the services sector, MX$14.3 billion (US$700 million) withdrawn from pension funds and a 4.8 percent increase in adult depression, the outlook seemed somewhat gloom.
Employers reported a shortage of women in the workforce as 82 percent of them said they had been negatively affected by the pandemic, hindering balance between their work and personal lives, especially as the lack of childcare options prevented them from accessing a job. In addition, the health crisis widely affected sectors where female employment is high, contributing to an increase in the employment gender gap. Alongside women, other population sectors were importantly affected by the pandemic, including people with intellectual disabilities, for example, after 31 percent of them lost their jobs.
Despite the turbulence, the year also accelerated the digital era, which moved forward around 10 years ahead of schedule. New skills started to be required, including cloud computing, data science, Big Data, artificial intelligence and IoT. Face-to-face meetings were replaced by zoom calls, as employers tried to figure out how to maintain employee trust while generating value, boosting happiness and dealing with digital burnout.
Learning how to manage talent became essential, especially in areas of growing demand such as e-commerce and digital transformation where Mexico had a 150,000 employee shortage, as well as in the logistics and manufacturing. The talent shortage was also fueled by workers’ pursuit of more flexible jobs, not only in Mexico but around the world. International tech giants have sought to cover their talent gaps in Mexico, helping the country head into Industry 4.0.
With COVID-19 cases receding to a point, schools gradually resumed face-to-face classes with Campeche setting the example. On-site work also came back, with 500,000 people going back to their workplace in Mexico City. Increased economic activity and a historic amount of US$4.5 billion in remittances helped recovery to begin. In April, however, companies had to deal with a new challenge: a new outsourcing reform that obligated real employers to include outsourced workers in their payrolls. With this, contributions to INFONAVIT were expected to increase by MX$42.8 billion (US$2.1 billion), benefitting 5 million subcontracted workers and increasing by 25 percent companies’ operational costs.
Now, the early birds eager to find out about next year’s trends should know that oil workers in drilling, operational support and maintenance jobs face replacement by field automation to help the industry save more than US$7 billion. In addition, recruiting is now changing with digitization as it facilitates hiring processes and companies realized that the ideal employee could live anywhere.
Mexico’s public finances are expected to increase with MX$1.7 billion (US$68 million) in 2022 allocated to cover pension payments according to the 2022 Expenditure Report. The minimum wage is also due to increase by 22 percent while companies are expected to continue to struggle with the outsourcing reform. Meanwhile, the global labor market is expected to recover by 2023 with Mexico going back to its pre-pandemic unemployment rate levels by the end of 2022. Digitalization will remain a trend to watch out for in the new year as hiring processes become more automated, helping to narrow the gender gap and opening labor markets not only locally but internationally. Meanwhile, companies will compete to attract the best talent, with candidates also doing the interviewing as they look for the most attractive working conditions for an adequate work-life balance.