Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica minimum wage up to $346.40 per month

June 20, 2008

Costa Rica’s National Salary Council on Monday green-lighted a 6.58 percent increase on minimum wages in the private sector for July 1, which the Labor Ministry says should help “recuperate the purchasing power” of the nation’s lowest earners in the face of a rising living costs.

On top of that, an added ¢5,000 ($9.60) should go to unskilled low-wage earners such as cleaning staff and car wash attendants and an extra ¢4,000 will go on the pay checks of semi-skilled workers, including drivers, shop attendants, guards and lower-earning office personnel.

Some labor leaders, however, are not content. They say the raise from ¢164,007 (about $315.60) a month to less than ¢180,000 ($346.40) just scrapes the surface of what is needed.

“We’re not totally satisfied because the salary gap is difficult to resolve with a half-yearly wage raise. What’s needed is a sustained policy of recuperating the salaries’ purchasing power,” Albino Vargas, secretary general of the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP), told The Tico Times yesterday. “What happened (Monday) was a circumstantial adjustment and, furthermore, it’ll be difficult to check if companies follow through with it.”

In addition to more cohesive government measures, ANEP was bidding for at least a 10 percent raise, Vargas said.

But Labor Ministry spokeswoman Ana Isabel Gartela said that while the wage increase is meant for low earners, in many companies it ends up lifting all boats, as employers use it as an opportunity to give pay raises across the board.

She said the government takes into account the cost of living with each salary hike. Accumulative inflation from January to June has reached 5.94 percent. The ministry added that number to 0.64 – which was the difference between predicted and actual inflation for December, when the last salary adjustment was calculated – to arrive at the minimum wage increase of 6.58 percent.

Next month’s raise will be the highest since the 6.84 percent increase of January 2006, according to another ministry spokesman, Geovanny Díaz. Private sector minimum wages rose by 5.1 percent last July, and by 4.95 percent in January 2007, Díaz said.

You may be interested

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico
Costa Rica
3264 views
Costa Rica
3264 views

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

The Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefutbol) on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the men's national team's planned friendly match against…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22
Costa Rica
5461 views
Costa Rica
5461 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica announced 15 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 760, according to official data…

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021
Costa Rica
3338 views
Costa Rica
3338 views

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica's Immigration Administration on Monday published a resolution which, among other items, extends the validity of tourist visas until…