U.S. and Mexico Manufacturing Wages
Interesting statistic in the local paper, courtesy of the “Harper’s Index.”
6:1 average manufacturing wage in the U.S. to that in Mexico before NAFTA took effect in 1994
8:1 ratio today
I thought the conventional wisdom at the time was that NAFTA would depress U.S. manufacturing wages, that U.S. and Mexican wages would move closer together as the result of free trade (ours going down, theirs going up). The average U.S. manufacturing wage is now EIGHT times higher than Mexico, instead of SIX times. I’m not an economist and I’m sure the reasons behind that ratio are many, but I was still surprised to see this difference.