El Salvador’s extensive education and training opportunities have helped develop quality workers, technicians and professionals in all of the different employment sectors. Salvadoran labor is abundant and highly trainable. The work ethic among Salvadoran workforce is often a determining factor in new investors' decisions to establish operations in El Salvador.
Learning an occupation, developing a specialization, participating in ongoing training, and strengthening their natural proactive attitude, are all part of the development skills that Salvadorans acquire in the work place. INSAFORP, the national institution for professional training, incorporates national and private efforts to ensure that the Salvadoran workforce remains a high quality asset within the region and within Latin America.
The economically active population (EAP), for the year 2010 was recorded at 2,580,284 people, of which 63% were located in urban areas and 37% were located in rural areas. Out of the total EAP, 58.7% are men and 41.3 % are women. This reflects the lower activity level of females in the labor market; yet in recent years a substantial increase in their participation has been observed.
The labor force is estimated at 2.7 million (2011), with a distribution by type of employment divided among agriculture (19%), industry (23%) and services (58%). The unemployment rate rose by 0.3% from 2008 to 2009, and is as high as 7% (CIA website, 2011).
As agreed by The Minimum Wage National Council of El Salvador, effective from May 16th, 2011, the new approved Minimum Wages are the following (and are calculated over 30 calendar days according to each economic sector):
- Business and Services: US $224.10
- Industry: US $219.30
- Textile industry and manufacturing: US $187.50
- Agriculture: US $105.00
- Coffee Harvesters: US $114.60
- Sugar Harvesters: US $97.20
- Cotton Harvesters: US $87.60
- Coffee Brokerages: US $152.10
- Cotton Brokerages and Sugar Refineries: US $110.40
Handling services are available in the market and can be provided by outsourcing companies and transporters.
Average costs are indicated below:
- US $3.20 - US $4.48 /MT
- US $2.50 - $3.75 /hour/person (depending on working hour, night shifts, holidays and weekends)