MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Mexico will raise its minimum wage by 16% on Jan. 1 to about 103 pesos (US $5.10) per day, federal labor secretary Luisa María Alcalde announced Dec. 17.
The minimum will double in the new free-trade zone within 25 kilometers of the U.S., where income and value-added taxes will be substantially cut on Jan. 1: It will go up to 177 pesos (US $8.80) a day. New President Andres Manuel López Obrador called the increase “an historic event, because together we begin a new stage in the salary policy of our country.” He said the raise would not cause inflation, and that representatives of workers, business, and the Bank of México had all participated in negotiations on it. The decision came three days after Alcalde dismissed the longtime head of Conasami, the National Minimum Wage Commission, replacing him with economist Andrés Peñaloza Méndez. The increase still leaves Mexico with one of the lowest minimum wages in Latin America: Colombia’s minimum is about $265 a month plus a $30 transportation subsidy, while in Honduras, it ranges from 25.6 to 45 lempiras ($1.05 to $1.85) an hour depending on the industry and size of business.