· We want more workers to regard their jobs as a way of ensuring conditions of greater comfort and tranquility for their families, said President Enrique Peña Nieto.

· According to data from the IMSS, in April, 82,500 formal jobs were created, bringing the total number of workers registered in our country to 18.2 million. This is the largest number of jobs created in April on record, he said.       

· In the first three months of 2016, foreign direct investment totaled $7.896 billion USD, once again a record for a first quarter since these figures began to be registered 17 years ago.

· So far during this Administration, nearly $110 billion USD of FDI have been accumulated, approximately 70 percent of the goal we set for the entire administration, he said.

· These figures confirm that, in an uncertain, volatile global economy, investors are continuing to choose Mexico as a safe, suitable destination for further growth.

President Enrique Peña Nieto today led the signing of agreements for the Implementation of Actions to Formalize Employment, designed to reduce the Informal Labor Rate by at least one percentage point this year and in subsequent years.

“We want more workers to regard their jobs as a way of ensuring conditions of greater well-being and tranquility for their families,” the president declared.

During the event, at which he signed as witness of honor the agreements signed by the country’s state governors, the Labor and Social Welfare Secretary, and the Head of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), the president declared that a couple of weeks ago,  the IMSS announced that, “In April, 82,500 formal jobs were created, bringing the total number of affiliated workers in our country to 18.2 million.”

He highlighted two aspects of this figure: “On the one hand, it is the highest increase in permanent jobs in April on record." On the other hand, this figure translates into the fact that during the first 41 months of this administration, 1,940,000 new formal jobs have been created. This is the largest increase in workers affiliated to the IMSS in this period for any administration.”

President Peña Nieto said today that the Economy Secretariat reported that, “During the first quarter of this year, foreign direct investment stood at $7.896 billion dollars; which is also a record figure for a first quarter since it began to be registered 17 years ago.”

"So can we say that so far this administration, we have accumulated nearly $110 billion dollars in Foreign Direct Investment, nearly 70 percent of the goal we set for the whole administration,” he said.

He declared that these figures confirm that, in an uncertain, volatile global economy, investors are continuing to choose Mexico as a safe, suitable destination for further growth.”

The president declared that another important indicator is the reduction of informality in the economy: “According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), in the first quarter of this year, the Labor Informality Rate stood at 57.4 percent of the employed population,” the lowest in the past decade.

He said the figure is still high, “And while there are states in the country with higher rates, where over 70 percent are engaged in the formal sector, there are states where virtually the same rate, 70 or 80 percent, are engaged in the formal sector.

“This worries us and commits us to a shared effort to reduce informality and ensure that more workers are fully formalized within their jobs. To put this into perspective: If the informality rate of three years ago had continued, with the growth the labor market has experienced, there would now be almost 700,000 more people working outside the formal economy," he said.

He explained that it has been possible to stop the upward trend in informality, “And today we are working to ensure that workers are engaged in the formal sector. It is worth pointing out that at the state level, during these past three years, the Labor Informality Rate has declined in 22 out of the 32 states.”

The president declared that although significant progress has been achieved, “We cannot lower our guard, we must redouble our efforts,” and listed the four steps to achieving this:

FIRST: “Promote Special Economic Zones, the decree for which will be enacted in the next few days. These economic zones will mainly be located in states with the highest rate of informality, where this indicator has been growing.

SECOND: The Economic Recovery and Productive Development Program in the states of Campeche and Tabasco, announced a few weeks ago, to offset the effects of lower prices in the petroleum industry, including the loss of formal employment.

THIRD: “The design of new schemes for the formalization of agricultural day workers.”

FOURTH: “The one that brings us here today, the Conventions for the Implementation of Actions to Formalize Employment, signed by the state governments, the Labor Secretariat and the Social Security Institute.”

IN THE THREE YEARS AND THREE MONTHS OF ADMINISTRATION, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS, LABOR INFORMALITY HAS FALLEN BY OVER THREE POINTS: NAVARRETE PRIDA

Labor and Social Welfare Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida said that in the three years and three months of this Administration, the informality rate has consistently fallen by over three points for the first time in 30 years.

He said that the agreement signed today, “Is based on the knowledge of each state of its informality rate, the sectors and cities in each state where it is located and their pledge to achieve a minimum, quantifiable and measurable goal for workers’ formalization by state.”

He said the minimum target is over 250,000 workers, “Over 250,000 specific acts of justice that must be multiplied by the families of the workers who benefit.” He said that all the conditions are in place in the labor sector to achieve this.

Navarrete Prida said that at the federal level, there have been over 31 months without strikes, the longest period in the history of the country, “And also, officially, of any country in the world with the right to strike.” In addition, there has been a steady decrease in the rate of labor informality and a clear recovery of the purchasing power of the minimum wage, which had not been seen in 40 years, as well as a growth in labor productivity, which drove Mexico up seven positions in that specific area last year according to the World Economic Forum.

FORMALITY BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY AND THE ECONOMY AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE WELL-BEING OF WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES: MIKEL ARRIOLA

Mikel Arriola Peñalosa, Director General of the Mexican Social Security Institute: “It has been proved that formality boosts productivity and the economy and promotes the well-being of workers and their families.”

He noted that, on average, formal firms are 2.3 times more productive than those in the informal economy; in contrast, the informal economy is associated with job uncertainty and permanent obstacles. Promoting formal employment, he added, can reduce poverty and inequality through access to the social security benefits provided by the Mexican State.

He said that last April, the highest number of jobs for that month in the past 10 years were created, an achievement largely due to the structural reforms promoted by the government; a rapid process of job formalization, the digitization of paperwork and the implementation of a new control model to detect the evasion of the payment of social security contributions and taxes.

He said that with the agreement signed today, “The IMSS undertakes, inter alia, to exchange information with the states and to provide guidance and advice to employers to continue the simplification and streamlining of procedures related to employment.”

FORMALIZATION TOTALLY CHANGES WORKERS’ LIVES: CTM

Carlo Aceves del Olmo, Secretary General of the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), said that formalization, “Totally changes workers’ lives,” since it provides them with access to medical services, through the Social Security Institute, and social services such as housing support and credit.

The agreement signed today, he said, “Will surely help reduce informality and repair the social fabric,” since he considered, “We would also be tackling a serious problem, which, although on the decline, is still alive.  piracy and smuggling.”

He explained that workers should not be deceived into believing that giving them part of their salaries under the table leaves them better off.” “That's a fallacy,” he said.

FORMALITY IS ESSENTIAL TO OVERCOMING JOB INSECURITY: CCE

Juan Pablo Castañón Castañón, President of the Business Coordinating Council, said that “Formalization is a path that cannot be ignored in the path of mobility and social justice and is essential to overcoming the job insecurity that affects millions of people and their families.”

He said that formalization in general and the formalization of employment in particular, are prerequisites for advancing the construction of prosperous, inclusive economy, with sustained and sustainable growth.

He stressed the need to pick up the pace and, in this respect, he said, "it is very important and timely to reinforce a program that has yielded significant results in three years.

He hailed the fact that the agreements on coordinated actions signed today have specific, state-by-state goals. Likewise, he added, efforts must be made to confirm and lend continuity to the coordination of the program, in relation to the inspection visit protocols, with an emphasis on counseling to facilitate the transition to formality.

He explained that it is through formality that one can create and sustain employment sources with incomes and decent working conditions, to pave the way for professional growth and support workers’ family development.

IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CREATE A NEW CULTURE THAT FOCUSES ON JUSTICE AND LABOR INCLUSION AS AN INESCAPABLE CONDITION FOR PROMOTING THE COMMON GOOD: GABINO CUÉ

Gabino Cué Monteagudo, Governor of Oaxaca and President of the National Conference of Governors (CONAGO), speaking on behalf of the state leaders of the country, stressed the need to assume, “The responsibility of building a new culture that favors justice and labor inclusion as an inescapable condition for promoting the common good and development of our country.”

The President of CONAGO said that the bill submitted by the government is of the utmost importance, since its purpose is, “To provide Mexico’s workers with a better quality of life and higher levels of well-being, by enjoying the benefits of social security, access to housing and retirement savings, among other benefits.”

Gabino Cué said that in this important task, “CONAGO is and will be a cornerstone of Mexican federalism, that adds the strength of the states to this great national crusade for the creation and formalization of employment. By doing so, we will be working to consolidate this Mexico, the Mexico of progress and growing prosperity our people deserve and long for.