I was reading the local paper this morning here in Mexico and I saw an article about a job fair today in Cancun. The job fair is focused primarily on the tourism industry and they are looking to fill 3,364 positions. While reading the article, it occurred to me that I have never met an unemployed Mexican while living here. Granted, I have known at least 10 who lost their jobs because businesses were sold, closed, or downsized; however, every single one of them found a new job within two weeks.
This prompted me to do some research and I learned that Mexico has an employment rate that was as low as 3.74% in March of this year.
I have discovered that the general attitude toward work is different than that of America in 2016. Actually, it reminds me of the United States in the 80’s. People work hard here, and they believe that the only way to get ahead is through hard work. They do not make excuses for what they have accomplished in life and no one is looking for a handout. They take the jobs that are available in order to feed their families even if it is not necessarily the job they want.
If there is no job in their immediate area, they either commute or move to where the jobs are located. We know several locals that live hours away but work here on the coast. They stay on the coast during the work week and head home on their days off to see their families. Although they all admit this is not an ideal situation, I have never heard one person “complain” about it.
In the U.S., it was not unusual to run into people who were on unemployment for over a year while they looked for the “ideal job”. We even met one American on unemployment at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico a few years back. He told us that he had been on unemployment for a year and half and it was about to run out. He decided to take a big vacation before going back to “look” for a job.
Admittedly, a long career as a law enforcement officer left me quite cynical and jaded. I could go on and on about the widespread abuse of social services and programs that I witnessed over the years, but I won’t. All I will say is that living in Mexico has made me less cynical and has restored a lot of my faith in my fellow human beings. Just think what my attitude will be like in a few years if this trend continues.