Minimum wage rates in the United States vary widely by state and employers operating in several states need to stay abreast of the different wage laws. In this global economy, employers with operations in Mexico also need to be aware of Mexico’s minimum wage requirements.
Unlike the US’s hourly minimum wage rates, the minimum wage in Mexico is a daily wage rate. Until recently, Mexico was divided into two geographical areas—Zone A and Zone B—each with its own daily minimum wage. Zone A covered most metropolitan areas and entry ports, including the capital, Mexico City and Guadalajara. Zone B included rural areas such as Aguascalientes, Morelos and Tabasco. The minimum wage rate in Zone A was MXP $70.10 per day. The minimum wage rate in Zone B was MXP $68.28 per day. Differences in the working conditions, economy, cost of living and lifestyles of the people in Zones A and B accounted for the difference in the minimum wage rates.
Effective October 1, 2015, Mexico eliminated A and B minimum wage zones and instituted a single national minimum wage rate for all employees regardless of where in Mexico they work. The change to a single national minimum wage rate raises the minimum wage rate for workers formerly in Zone B to the rate of Zone A such that all workers must now earn a minimum of MXP $70.10/day. At the current exchange rate, the Mexican minimum daily wage is less than $5.00/US per day. About 13 percent of Mexico’s workforce earns the minimum wage.