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Digital nomads now come first for Mexico City’s gig workers

Digital nomads now come first for Mexico City’s gig workers

Digital nomads now come first for Mexico City’s gig workers

Excerpt from restofworld.org

Workers say they’re learning English and cooking less spicy food to suit the tastes of wealthy newcomers.

Gig workers told Rest of World the evolving digital service economy is due in large part to the abundance of digital nomads in Mexico City. Experts say their presence has changed the nature of work in the metropolis. This ranges from apps giving their workers free English classes to workers’ increased reliance on generous tipping to work norms shifting to suit international whims, as house cleaners expected to provide their own cleaning supplies have found out. According to more than 18 workers and app founders that Rest of World spoke to, the number of foreign customers can range from around half the client base in the case of delivery workers, to 95%, like with Daboin.

The rise of app-based work and the steady growth of digital nomads who reside in Mexico have increased in tandem for years, but both expanded dramatically in the aftermath of the pandemic, Víctor Carreón Rodríguez, a professor of economics at Mexico City’s Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), told Rest of World. While there is not much data on how dependent gig workers have become on foreigners specifically, he said there were broader clues across the industry. For instance, Carreón Rodríguez claimed that restaurant workers a decade ago made significantly more than delivery employees in selected cities across Mexico, but that gap has lessened and the salary ranges are now nearly equal.

“The location in which one works became irrelevant,” he said, “[allowing] for an increasingly tech-savvy young generation to focus on remote work while boosting the use of delivery and services applications in the places they arrived at.”

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