Analysis: Job challenge looms for next Mexican president
By Pablo Garibian
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - In a country beset with drugs wars and a massive underground economy, Mexico's president-elect faces a tall order to stem the drift of young people into organized crime and off-the-books work: create jobs, lots of them.
Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was elected president early this month on a pledge to provide more work and raise living standards to bring economic growth to about 6 percent a year, triple the average growth rate of the outgoing administration.
This is what business leaders say Mexico, whose working population is growing faster than other major Latin American economies, needs to satisfy the demand for jobs.
It is a goal that no Mexican president has achieved over a sustained period for more than 30 years.
Pena Nieto, who will take office in December, has pinned his hopes on fiscal, labor and energy reforms, much like outgoing President Felipe Calderon did when he took office six years ago.
Calderon could not get the bills through Congress, where he never had a majority. Pena Nieto faces the same problem.
In his first five years in power, Calderon created less than 2 million jobs, well short of his promise of 1 million per year.
Over the same period, the number of Mexicans old enough to work grew by some 6.5 million, according to data from the national statistics office. Continued...