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.