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El Salvador’s extensive education and training opportunities have helped develop quality workers, technicians and professionals in all of the different employment sectors. Salvadoran Salvadoran labour is  is abundant and highly trainable. The work ethic among Salvadoran workforce is often a determining factor in new investor’s 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 trainingtraining, 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 population (EAP), for the year 2016 was estimated at 2,788 million  2017 was at 2,960,788 million people, of which 63% were 63.4% were located in urban areas and 37% 36.6% were located in rural areas. Out of the total total EAP, 5859.7% 3% are men and 4140.3 % 7 % are women. This reflects the lower activity level of females in the labor marketthe labour market; yet in recent years a substantial increase in their participation has been observed. 

The labour force is estimated at 2.7 million (2016)[1] with 60% less than 39 years old, with a distribution by type of employment divided among agriculture (21%), industry (20%) and services (58%).[2]  The unemployment rate in 2016 is estimated at 5.5%.


As agreed by The Minimum Wage National Council of El Salvador, effective from 2017, the new approved Minimum Wages are the following (and are calculated over 30 calendar days according to each economic sector):

  • Business and Services: US $300.00
  • Industry: US $300.00
  • Textile industry and manufacturing: US $300.00
  • Agriculture: US $200.
  • Coffee Harvesters: US $224.10
  • Sugar Harvesters: US $224.10
  • Cotton Harvesters: US $200.10
  • Coffee Brokerages: US $200.10
  • Cotton Brokerages and Sugar Refineries: US $110.40


Handling CostsThe labour force was (2017) 56.0between 16 to 39 years oldmeaning, the most productive range. On the other side, ages from 40 to 59 represent 33.2% of the working age population. (PET – Población en Edad de Trabajar), while persons on their 60s and more, represents the 10.7% of PET.  

Unemployment rate in 2017 was 7.0%. The urban area was less 0.6% than the rural one. Ages from 16 to 24 were 14.4% unemployed, from 25 to 59 years old were the 5.1% and from 60 and more was of 5.9%  

Effective from 1st January 2017, the new approved Minimum Wages are the following (calculated over 30 calendar days according to each economic sector): 

Business and Services: US$ 304.17  

Industry: US$ 304.17 

Textile industry and manufacturing: US$ 299.30 

Agriculture: US$ 202.88 

Coffee Harvesters: US$ 227.22 

Sugar Harvesters: US$ 227.22 

Cotton Harvesters: US$ 202.88 

Coffee Brokerages: US$ 202.88 

Cotton Brokerages US$ 202.88 

Sugar Refineries: US$ 304.17 


Handling costs 

Handling services are available in the market and can be provided by outsourcing companies and transporters. 

Average costs are indicated below: 


4.26 $US/MT 


2.75  4.00 US$/hour/person (depending on working hour, night shifts, holidays and weekends). 


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