Measured based on hours worked, in the third quarter of 2021, labor productivity in the Mexican economy contracted 2% compared to the previous quarter, resulting in five quarters of decreases, according to the Global Productivity Index report. Labor Economy (IGPLE), released yesterday by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (Inegi).
This contraction – higher than the 1.8% in the second quarter – was explained to a greater extent by the 3.6% contraction of the productivity subindex in the services sector (tertiary activities), which was followed by a 0.2% decrease in the subindex of the industrial sector (secondary activities).
The 1.5% advance in the agricultural sector sub-index (primary activities) was insufficient to offset the reductions in the other two sectors.
The IGPLE measured in seasonally adjusted figures had a reading of 96.6 points (based on 100 in 2013), thus reaching its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009 (96.2 points).
The Covid-19 pandemic and the massive lockdown produced atypical effects in the labor market, since between the first and third quarters of last year, labor productivity by hours worked in the economy increased at an unprecedented rate of 10.5%, but coinciding with a steep drop in employment, as millions of workers left their jobs to confine themselves due to the shutdown of non-essential economic activities to prevent the spread of the virus.
This distorted the measurement, with the effect of an increase in the productivity of workers who remained within the labor market, since between the first and second quarters of 2020 the employed population fell by just over 10 million people, going from 55.4 to 45 million.
In an October report on Covid-19 and the world of work, the International Labor Organization (ILO) stated that “given that the least productive companies and the lowest paid workers were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, global labor productivity increased in 2020 more than double the long-term average value “
With a reading of 55.7 million people, during the third quarter of 2021 the employed population in Mexico had already exceeded its previous pre-pandemic level, but this reactivation has come hand in hand with a sustained drop in labor productivity.
The ILO warned that in 2021, global productivity has increased at a much slower rate, with negative growth in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
“In 2020, the hourly output of each worker in high-income countries was, on average, 17.5 times higher than that of each worker in a low-income country. This gap has widened to 18 in 2021, the largest difference since 2005.