The state of El Salvador's workforce

On this May 1 international labor day, marchers of the FMLN, clad in red, marched through the streets of the capital city to show their support with the working classes.  

For the day, El Faro published a set of statistics which illustrate the state of affairs for the Salvadoran worker.   El Faro begins by noting that El Salvador's government has calculated the monthly cost of a basic market basket of food, goods and services for an average family of 4.5 people is $590.    Compare that basic fact to the following figures:

  • The average salary in the private sector of the formal economy is $505 monthly.
  • 30% of the employees in the private sector earn less than $389.
  • The recently increased legal minimum wage ranges from $200 monthly in parts of the agriculture sector and $300 in the manufacturing sector.
  • In the public sector, the average monthly salary is $700.
  • 53% of women do not participate in the workforce, while only 20% of men do not participate in the workforce.
  • For women who do participate in the workforce, 47% are in the informal economy as street vendors, tortilla sellers, domestic workers, etc.
  • Personnel costs represent only 20% of the cost of doing  business for Salvadoran businesses.