In 2021, the companies on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) generated 3% more jobs compared to the previous year; however, the number of jobs they created was 2.5% below 2019, the year before the pandemic.
The figures coincide with data from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which despite the fact that in 2021 the number of insured employees registered a growth of 2% compared to 2020, its level was 1% lower than that generated before the outbreak of Covid-19.
“This shows that there are sectors and regions of the country that have not yet recovered, with formal jobs of not so good quality and informal jobs that continue to be highly affected by control measures and closures,” says Jorge Gordillo, director of economic and stock market analysis. of CIBanco.
However, the specialist highlights that, of the country’s main economic indicators, employment is the one that has had the best performance because it has always been in line with expectations, while others, such as GDP, have fallen short.
Among the companies that have their employment levels farthest from what they had before the pandemic, the following stand out: Elektra, Famsa, América Móvil, Alsea, Soriana, Walmart, Sanborns, Gigante, Aeroméxico and Altos Hornos de México.
Grupo Elektra, owned by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, is the furthest from the level of jobs it had before the pandemic, with 21,035 fewer jobs. This is because the increase in its operating, administration and promotion expenses have been offset by reductions in personnel expenses, according to its own financial reports.
In the case of Famsa, directed by Luis Gerardo Villarreal, in 2021 it generated 13,910 fewer jobs compared to its pre-pandemic level, this is due to the storm it is facing on several fronts: the measures imposed to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the revocation of its license to operate its subsidiary Banco Ahorro Famsa and its application for commercial bankruptcy in Mexico and for bankruptcy in the United States.
As for América Móvil, chaired by Carlos Slim Domit, it registers a decrease of 10,317 jobs compared to its 2019 level, derived from its cost and expense savings program, and a better use of resources allocated to marketing, advertising and sales, according to their financial reports presented to the BMV.
For Gordillo, operating expenses are, of all costs, the last to be cut. Companies go first for unnecessary expenses and external expenses, and the last thing they usually do is cut people, because the costs of having people employed, keeping them and training them is very high.
Even though the BMV companies, as a whole, do not recover the number of jobs they provided before the pre-pandemic, there is a group of them that is already showing signs of recovery and have been able to exceed the levels they had in 2019. The following stand out: Chedraui, Femsa, Cemex, Guadalajara Pharmacies, Santander, La Comer, Bachoco, Televisa, Bimbo and Lamosa.
In the case of Chedraui, de Alfredo and José Antonio Chedraui, their higher level of employment has been driven by the increase in their sales to same stores (those with more than 12 months in operation), which in 2021 had an annual increase of 10.5%, exceeding the level reported by the sector (ANTAD supermarkets 7%). In addition to strong growth in the United States due to the integration of Smart and Final and an increase in its Real Estate division, according to a report published by Banorte’s Stock Market Analysis and Strategy Area.
Femsa’s increased job creation has been driven by improvements in the health situation in all its markets and the return of its consumers to their normal habits and patterns. Within its divisions, the one with the best performance has been Proximity (Oxxo), which in 2021 represented 35% of the company’s total income and had a growth of 10.4% in the average ticket and 1.9% in traffic (the number of people going), according to the company’s financial reports.
As for Cemex, the company chaired by Rogelio Zambrano, its greater generation of jobs is related to its higher level of production and higher sales volumes, supported by government social programs and record levels of remittances, as well as higher prices of cement and concrete, according to the company in its financial results report for the fourth quarter of 2021.
For Gordillo, this is good news in the sense that we do not see such a deep crisis but rather a temporary crisis. But he points out that now the concern is the lack of incentives or factors that help them think that there may be improvements in the future, since there is a perceived stagnation, little growth, low levels of investment, low levels of confidence of the entrepreneur.
The specialist warns that a push plan is needed, either from the government or from the business sector, because without one, the economy runs the risk of stopping even more.