Mexico’s Minimum Wage Increase Lower Than $5 USD Per Day

Mexico’s minimum wage guidelines are broken down into two zones, known as Zone-A and Zone-B, where minimum wages are set at different rates. Zone-A consists of larger cities and those of economic importance to the country, while Zone-B maintains some of the nation’s poorest municipalities.

On January 1, 2015 new minimum wages will go in effect for both Zone-A and Zone-B, however employers in Puerto Vallarta will fall in Zone-B allowing a minimum wage less than employers in Guadalajara even though the cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is significantly higher in terms of quality housing and food costs.

In Guadalajara and other areas marked as Zone-A in Mexico, the new minimum wage will be set at a dismal $70.10 pesos per day ($4.80 USD for a full day’s work). While in Puerto Vallarta and other areas marked as Zone-B will have the minimum daily wage set at $66.45 pesos ($4.55 USD for a full day’s work).

The current zone system ensures that the poorest communities in Mexico maintain their status, even though the minimum wage constitutionally is required to be set at a living wage in Mexico. There is no evidence that Zone-A or Zone-B offer a living wage.

The cost of living increase in Puerto Vallarta has outpaced that of the state’s capital city of Guadalajara, but still remains in Zone-B with the lowest minimum wage in the country.

17 Responses
  1. Ken Stobbs

    It is appalling at double what it is now. The cost of living in Vallarta is greatly inflated by foreign presence. And people wonder why petty crime is ever present. I love how foreigners use the minimum wage law to get all their heavy lifting done for them. If you can’t pay your maid a living wage, then clean it yourself!

  2. Shame people can not earn living wage. We pay our people 150 pesos for half day and 200 pesos a day for full day. We’d like to pay more but no one has money. The more people earn the more we’d sell and the more we could pay. Funny how the government is too stupid to understand this concept.

    1. Michael Douglas

      Last year when i was there, I could request additional maid service for a day above the 1 day/week that was included with my condo rental for $20 USD. This meant that someone would come and actually do a thorough cleaning of EVERYTHING, including my laundry, bedding, towels, dishes and even washing the windows inside and out. This task typically was about 6 hours of work. I’m sure that $20 didn’t all go to the maid – put was split in some way between the condo rental agency, maid service and actual maid, and probably some went to the condo owner. My guess is that she may of gotten $5-10 USD of it – so, roughly $1-2 USD/hour.

      1. Karyn Green

        Thank you Michael. I live here. I pay daily for a 4 hour shift 5 days a week. So I was just wondering if I am paying the right amount legally.

        1. Justin Loman

          The minimum daily wage is what is required by law to pay your maid. It’s always best to get domestic help through an agency or property management company that handles the legal end of payroll so you don’t need to worry about that. Besides minimum wage, you are also legally obligated to pay IMSS (health insurance), mandatory vacation time, holiday bonuses, and social security taxes. If you are not doing all of these things and declaring your maid as an employee, make sure you kiss her butt forever because she now ownes you, that is certainly true for a non-citizen, and even more dangerous if you are a property owner with a bank trust holding your title. One phone call to the Jalisco Labor Union and you are in for a world of fines and legal harassment.

    2. Karen Erp

      I have help for 3-4 hours a day and I pay 50 pesos an hour for my housekeeper who travels by bus and walking to my home twice a week. No way I would do that. Also it is customary to give the equivalent of two week salary as a bonus at the end of the year. Justin is correct about the lay, so be careful.

      1. Karyn Green

        I currently pay 200 pesos for 4 hours a day for 5 days a week and she takes about a 30 minute lunch break. I gave her 15% of her wages of the year for Christmas (and bought her kids Christmas presents). I just wanted to make sure I was paying well. The only problem I have is the longer she is with me the more lazy she has gotten! I am finding I do most of the cleaning myself! If going through an “agency” would be better.. If I were to let her go and try someone else that is more “professional”.. I don’t know what percent the agency would take from her. I don’t want a “slave worker” that makes a crappy wage. I want them to be happy but I also don’t want to be taken advantage of.

    1. Unfortunately people around the world, especially in poorer countries will see a lowering of their living standards as the dollar rises. They get paid in currencies which are depreciating and so their buying power decreases.


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