Why track IMMEX (maquiladora) employment?
The maquiladora model of production-sharing has been the backbone of the industrialization of Mexico’s Border States. Although the maquiladora plants have, over time, spread throughout Mexico, the majority of plants and employment is still concentrated in Border States, including Sonora. For products shipped to the U.S. and Canada, the proximity to the border plays an important factor. The IMMEX exporters account for more than 80 percent of all manufacturing exports from Mexico, and the largest share of trade between the U.S. and Mexico. The dynamics of Sonora’s IMMEX employment provide general measures of the region’s capacity to build and sustain an export-based economy.
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What is measured?
Since 2006, the traditional maquiladora sector in Mexico has been combined with other programs focused on production for export, known as the IMMEX program. Whereas the maquiladora sector has undergone substantial transformation from traditional foreign-owned assembly plants into more sophisticated design and production operations, the name maquiladora is still commonly used to designate Mexico’s model of production-sharing. The majority of plants are foreign-owned with parent companies in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. The IMMEX employment figures also include Mexico’s growing automotive industry.