Harvest time often constricts the workforce,
many leaving to support the family farm or seek migrant- work in California's Imperial
Valley. Mexicali is also a way-station for Mexican migrant farm workers. Many Mexicali
families have lived in the area for generations, and return from the fields in the
off-season. Mexicali has been experiencing increasing growth rates which guarantees
an ample, steady and reliable labor pool.
The 1995 Mexican census calculations
estimated 224,078 males and 225,237 females in the economically active age range
of 15 - 49. Currently approximately 50,000 people are employed in 122Mexicali
Mexicali unemployment ranges from 9% - 11%,
depending upon the agriculture season. Unemployment in Imperial County is also
agrarian dependent, giving it a high average of 15% - 19%.
Larger maquilas have located in Mexicali
in the past decade, finding skilled workers while staying close to Southern
California and still avoiding Tijuana. Mexicali's literacy rate of 94.4% is
above average for border cities, with 81% of its workforce high school graduates
and an additional 8% having finished preparatory or technical school.
Education and Training
Mexicali has several college campuses and
training schools. Several industrial parks have established training centers to
support the operations of their tenants.
The larger operations that promote from
within have been successful in keeping their turnover rates down at approximately
5% per month. Agricultural migration during the harvest season contributes heavily
to the total community's high turnover.
Availability of Labor
Population and demographic projections
still point to above average growth, as Mexicali is affected as by increased trade,
border migration, and higher birth rates. A quick look at maquila employment in