MEXICO CITY, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that the country could recover the jobs lost due to the novel coronavirus in the first quarter of 2021 through the credits his administration has granted to small businesses.
The president said at a press conference that Mexico has lost around one million jobs due to the pandemic since April, but employment has been gradually rising since August.
"It has helped us a lot to have decided to support small companies with loans that commercial banks had never provided many of, nor under favorable conditions," he added.
According to the president, his administration has provided more than two million loans to small companies, both in the formal and informal sectors, to help small businesses retain their staff.
The challenge going forward, he said, is to achieve a balance "between health and the economy" in the face of signs of a new outbreak of the virus in some areas of the country.
The unemployment rate in Mexico fell in September to 5.1 percent among the Economically Active Population, down from 5.2 percent in August, according to official figures.
Mexico, the second largest economy in Latin America after Brazil, began on June 1 to gradually reactivate some sectors of the economy that had been closed since the end of March to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Mexican economy could register a 9 percent decline in 2020 due to COVID-19, according to the International Monetary Fund.