A man filling out a form at a community registration booth with other participants and staff around him.

Cancún Job Fair Fallout: Low Wages Drive Workers Away

Yesterday, the tourism and hotel industry in Cancún offered 2,150 job vacancies at a job fair, but only 30% of these positions were filled due to the low wages on offer. Many workers, both male and female, are choosing to work independently in roles such as painters, carpenters, and technicians, claiming they can earn up to 50 percent more than they would in a company role.

While some professional maintenance technician roles advertised at the job fair offered salaries of up to 30,000 pesos, other positions such as cleaning jobs barely reached 5,000-200 pesos per month. According to the organizer of the IX Rosa Employment Fair, the average salary on offer is around 10,000 pesos.

The job fair was held at La Corregidora Park, also known as “El Crucero.” This location is traditionally a meeting point for tradesmen such as bricklayers, carpenters, painters, electricians, and plumbers to connect with potential clients. One painter, Juan Barragán, shared that he had considered applying for a job at a fair in the past, but found the wages unattractive.

Barragán explained, "I was paid just over 2,000 pesos for two weeks' work, which is what I can earn in less than a week working independently. Even though companies offer benefits, the salaries are simply too low. It's not sustainable."

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Enrique Morales Pardo, the General Director of Economic Development, noted that the 47 companies participating in the job fair offered vacancies in the hotel, restaurant, retail, private security, and municipal sectors. However, he admitted that only around 400 of the 2,150 available positions were expected to be filled. Morales attributed this to the significant job losses in Cancún during the pandemic, which led many companies to suspend operations. He added, "People began to move away or start their own businesses, preferring this to working for a low salary."