The World of Work

More than one-half of the Mexican work force is employed in the services sector and fishing. Some people are farmers. Others work in industry, including oil. Mexico's industrial sector is one of the most developed in Latin America. There is a minimum wage which is nominally enforced by the law.

Mexicans usually work six 8-hour days a week. In the rural areas, work might stop around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, when people either go home or to a restaurant for the relaxing main meal of the day. A nap or a siesta could follow. In the cities, people do not work near their homes, so siesta are no longer a common practice.

Mexico has one of the youngest populations in the world. More than one-half of the people are under the age of 20. Many youth are not able to earn a decent living and have little hope of a better future. To give them hope is one of the goals of Mexico today. The government faces the challenge of creating economic opportunities for more people and building a strong modern nation, without abusing its power or sacrificing the values and traditions of the past.

Mexico, Canada and the United States agreed to work as trade partners in the early 1990's. On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect. Its purpose is to encourage foreign investments and job creation.

Did you know?

Mexico has the 4th largest oil holdings in the world.