Mexico City, Mexico – “17 years old, looking for work, immediately.”
“22-year-old looking for cleaning jobs, please help.”
“Looking for work,” writes an 18-year old. “I have tattoos.”
These cries for help are among the thousands posted over the past month to a Facebook group for young people looking for jobs in the Mexican city of Guadalajara.
Some of the pleas are brief and to the point. Others offer more details of the struggles facing Mexican youths who lost their jobs to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m a stylist but I lost my job because of the pandemic,” wrote a young mother of three children. “I’m looking for a job in whatever I can do, urgently, thank you.”
Though Mexico’s economy is expected to grow 5 percent this year, after contracting a whopping 8.2 percent in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund, the recovery is not happening fast enough for the nation’s struggling youths.
Over half of all job losses in Mexico in the 10 months ending December 2020 were suffered by young people under the age of 29, according to the Mexican Institute of Social Security.
Mexico’s struggles reflect a broader regional problem.
One in every six young people aged 18 to 29 in Latin America and the Caribbean has left work since the pandemic began, a recent study by Canadian charity Cuso found.
Andrea Olmos, who lives in central Mexico