Between May and October of this year, at least 1.5 million people in Mexico have managed to get out of poverty as a result of the slight economic recovery in the country.
This is pointed out in the October results of the COVID-19 Monitoring Survey on the Welfare of Mexican Households (ENCOVID-19), conducted by the Ibero-American University.
According to ENCOVID-19 data, the time for the highest unemployment and income reduction in the country was last May, a month in which approximately 10.6 million people may have entered poverty, and 9.2 million in extreme poverty.
However, over the months the situation changed thanks to declining unemployment and income recovery.
October’s results show that 1.5 million people were able to emerge from poverty and 2.4 million out of extreme poverty.
Read more: Lower income and increased anxiety: this is how CDMX households face COVID
The Ibero-American University warns that despite the recovery in these months, simulations suggest that because of the pandemic, there may be a further increase in the percentage of the population in extreme poverty from 7 to 13%, and from 42 to 51% in the population in poverty.
Income and employment
With regard to economic income, the ibero’s survey indicates an improvement between May and October.
In May, the percentage of households reported losing 50% or more of their income was 35% and in October it fell to 30%.
The same trend is seen in the percentage of households that lost 30% or more of their income, from 47% in May, to 42% in October.
This decrease is partly due to certain strategies applied in households to meet their needs.
To repay this lack of income, a portion of the population was forced to apply for loans or stop paying off their debts.
Between May and October, the percentage of households that borrowed money from acquaintances went from 24 to 37%, and those who stopped paying their debts or credit cards from 18 to 30%.
As far as employment is due, a major recovery was also observed between May and October.
In May, 8.9 million people said they were unemployed, i.e. unemployed, unable to seek work because of the pandemic, or had «rested» them without pay. By October this figure fell to 3.6 million people.
According to the survey, the recovery in the labour sector has been mainly in the sectors that were most affected by the pandemic such as low and medium socioeconomic workers, or the informal sector, with remuneration of up to 4,000 pesos.
Health and aid programs
In October, 12% of the population surveyed said that someone in the household stopped receiving medical care for a disease other than COVID, «because the service was no longer provided (45%), fear of contagion (21%), or that care (19%) was rescheduled.»
On the other hand, 65% of the population said they had high levels of concern about possible pandemic involvements in people’s health.
The survey results showed that anxiety and depression are higher among the lowest socioeconomic population. In October, 34% of lower-level economic respondents had severe symptoms of anxiety, compared to 23% of people at higher socioeconomic status.
In the case of depression, between April and October the percentage of people with symptoms of depression dropped from 27 to 20%.
Finally, only 1 in 10 households reported receiving any additional assistance from the COVID-19 emergency, such as pantries, credits, or other supports.
While another section of people said they received some other kind of permanent program. 13% receive Welfare Pensions (Older Adults or Disability) and 10% are beneficiaries of Benito Juárez Scholarships.
ENCOVID-19 October took place between 8 and 22 October and included 1,674 telephone interviews with people 18 years of age or older in all 32 states of the country.
Full results can be found on the Institute for Research for Development with Equity (EQUIDE) page.
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