Mexico loses almost 350,000 jobs due to coronavirus

Mexico’s Labor Department reports that the country has lost 346,748 jobs since mid-March due to the economic impact of the virus and the distancing measures imposed to fights its spread, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The biggest job losses occurred in the heavily tourism-dependent Caribbean coastal state of Quintana Roo, which lost almost 64,000 jobs. The state is home to resorts like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which have been hit hard by recommendations that people limit travel, says the article.

The department said the largest share of the job losses during the period from March 13 to April 6 — almost 250,000 — came at firms with 50 workers or more, rather than the smaller businesses that dominate Mexico’s economic landscape.

AP quoted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who praised small businesses that “are holding up under the crisis, these small businessmen and women are acting responsibly and heroically, because they are caring for their employee’s jobs.”

López Obrador has pledged to create 2 million new jobs between May and December as part of an emergency response plan, but these most recent figures could make that goal harder to reach. “When we issue a report like this, it is to issue a call for support, and for people not to fire anyone and preserve jobs,” he said.