November 19, 2013
A NYT article on the growth of the car industry in Mexico told readers:
“Around 40 percent of all auto-industry jobs in North America are in Mexico, up from 27 percent in 2000 (the Midwest has about 30 percent), and experts say the growth is accelerating, especially in Guanajuato, where state officials have been increasing incentives.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2000 the United States had roughly 1,310,000 jobs in the auto industry. Currently employment in the sector is around 800,000, implying a drop of 38.9 percent. If employment in Canada followed the same pattern, then Mexico’s share of total industry employment in North America would have risen to more than 55 percent if it had stayed constant since 2000. Since Mexico’s share of total employment is now just 40 percent, it implies that it has gained share by seeing a less rapid decline, not by adding jobs. This doesn’t fit well with the main thesis of the article which is that a middle class is rising in Mexico.