BETWEEN January and December 2003, the average salary of private sector employees increased 3% in real terms (taking into account the effects of the colón’s daily devaluation), according to the Social Security System (Caja) statistics.
Average monthly salaries rose from ¢142,708 at the end of 2002 ($395.40 at the time) to ¢160,914 at the end of 2003 ($402.56 at the time).
By law, all employers are required to register their employees with Caja and transfer a portion of their salaries to the institution in the form of mandatory social security dues. This makes Caja’s figures a valid indicator of formal jobs. It does not, however, include the increasing number of informal and independently employed workers.
Last year, the total number of formal jobs increased 2.2% from 548,253 at the end of 2002 to 560,309 at the end of 2003. A total of 12,056 jobs were created, according to Caja.