Volume 44, Number 175,
October-December 2013
The Emerging Phenomenon
of Unemployed Agricultural Day Laborers
Antonieta Barrón
( ...continuation )

Decelerated economic activity is reflected in gdp growth, which in 2007 grew by 3.32%, and in 2009, was negative at -6.0%. The manufacturing sector was the most affected segment, with a rate of -7.7%.

Figure 1. gdp by Sectors of Activity (%).
2003 Prices in Thousands of Pesos

Source: inegi, National accounts.

As can be seen in Figure 1, the 2007 crisis caused some damage in 2008, but the bigger hit is seen in 2009. Recovery in 2010 is in part related to the strong drop in 2009, but in 2011, the real trends of the agricultural sector become apparent, although it contributed very little to gdp (only 4% in 2003 and 3.5% in 2011, the most affected sector). To a lesser extent and for a short time period, the secondary and tertiary sectors were also affected. The drop in gdp starting in 2008 was accompanied by an increase in unemployment and vulnerable jobs.


While decreasing, rural populations still have an important weight, constituting nearly one-fourth (23.2%) of the total population, which means 26.1 million people in absolute numbers. If added to the broader rural population, this figure reaches 32.4 million residents.2 Of the 26.1 million people in rural areas, the working population reaches 8.1 million, which represents 48% of the population of 15 years of age or older.3 The predominant economic activities of rural populations are agriculture for men and services for women.

It is clear that agriculture is a primarily male activity, but only in terms of national averages, because in specific labor markets, the weight of women is sometimes greater.

2 Although the definition of rural population describes people living in villages with less than 2,500 residents, due to economic features and access to goods and services, inegi has presented a work that includes populations living in villages of 2,500 to 4,999 people as the extended rural population (see inegi: http://www.inegi.org.mx/prod_serv/contenidos/espanol/bvinegi/productos/censo/poblacion/2000/pob_rural/Rural_y_Rural_Ampliada.pdf, "Rural and Extended Rural Population").

3 Due to the way in which information is added, data for the rural population aged 12 to 14 years cannot be displayed as the category is recorded as 10 to 14 years of age. For this reason, this work used 15 years of age or older, but the trend would not be changed as the share of the population aged 12 to 14 years is rather insignificant.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 48, Number 191, October-December 2017 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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