In 2014, Mixed Employment Picture For Baja So Far

Second highest permanent job creator in the North, but fifth highest unemployment rate in nation

In 2014, Mixed Employment Picture For Baja So FarPhotos: Baja California state government.
Photos: Baja California state government.

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MEXICALI.- The latest round of job data for Baja is somewhat good news after other economic indicators have painted a more challenging picture for the state's job market.

During the event titled Cruzada por el Empleo y el Crecimiento económico (Crusade for Jobs and Economic Development), headed by Baja governor Francisco "Kiko" Vega de Lamadrid, the state administration revealed several employment data for 2014, highlighting that, when it comes to full time permanent employment, the state generated 9,480 formal and permanent jobs for the first two months of 2014, placing Baja California second among the northern border states.

Permanent jobs aren't clearly defined in the administration's report, but supposedly they're talking about formal positions that aren't regularly considered as part-time and, in this case, created during the first two months of the year.

The state's secretary for Economic Development, Carlo Bonfante Olache, said the government has a goal of 38,000 positions created for 2014, and comparing their figures with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS in Spanish) as the year goes by in order to acquire monthly statistics.

Through February, the figures showed 13,152 positions created, of which 9,480 were formal permanent jobs, "the majority of them from the industrial sectors of Mexicali and Tijuana."

But when taking into account the state's population, Bonfante makes it clear that Baja California is at the top of permanent job creation, with 2.8 permanent jobs for every 1,000 people in 2014, more than Quertaro's 2.3, Nuevo Leon with 2.0, Aguascalientes at 1.9, 1.6 for Tamaulipas, Coahuila, 1.3, and Chihuahua at just 0.9.

"Governor Kiko Vega has instructed us to take official sources [for economic data] and track economic performance indicators in order to gauge the economic, local and global forecasts and measure the impact of already implemented public policies and, if necessary, adjusting them in order to achieve better results," said the economic development secretary.

The government statement about the event and employment figures mentioned not "losing sight of the great challenges" still in place, despite other indicators improving.

Just last week, the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI in Spanish and Mexico's Census Bureau equivalent), announced that, while unemployment was dropping nationwide, several states still showed higher levels of unemployment than the national average. Baja California had the fifth highest unemployment rate in Mexico during February, at 5.74 percent, surpassed by Tabasco with 6.37 percent, Aguascalientes with 6.31 percent, the State of Mexico 5.99%, and the Federal District (Mexico City), 5.83%.

Some analyst have blamed immigration and the effect of last year's tax reform as causes for continued high unemployment in Baja. Tax reform placed extra burdens on small businesses, which account for as much as 75 percent of job creation, and immigration expands the work force beyond the state economy's current employment capacity.

Nevertheless, the administration says that "the strength of Baja California's competitive structure and its dynamic business sector, have helped position the state in second place along the northern border in permanent jobs creation in the first two months, and to achieve an important move forward in job creation for this year", says the statement.

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