The Administration proudly announced that the number of workers registered with the Social Security Institute (IMSS) rose by 720,348 in 2010. That is its highest year-end level since 2003 and the greatest number of jobs created in a calendar year since 1999. The accomplishment is, indeed, one of which to be proud.
The unemployment data published by INEGI last Friday is on the "half empty" side of the famous glass. By any measure -- national, urban, seasonally adjusted or not -- the December 2010 unemployment rate was higher than than in December 2009. The seasonally adjusted urban unemployment rate, my preferred measure, stood at 6.73% last month, 49 basis points higher than in December 2009 and 40 basis points higher than in December 2008.
The two measures of unemployment (the IMSS and the INEGI numbers) can be compatible, if one assumes that the IMSS enforcement efforts have persuaded employers to register employees who should have been registered but weren't.