Nearshore Americas

Costa Rica Raises Minimum Wage; Reaches Highest Pay Floor in Central America

Costa Rica established itself as the Central American leader in worker compensation, raising its minimum wage for private sector employees to US$687 a month, the highest in the region.

Under the new regulations, even entry-level workers are entitled to US$23 per day for an eight-hour shift, equivalent to US$2.86 per hour.

This figure surpasses the minimum wage for unskilled workers in other Central American nations. Additionally, semi-skilled workers receive CR$12,998.72 (US$25) daily, skilled workers gain CR$13,448.72 (US$26), and professionals in specialized occupations earn CR$15,613.91 (US$30).

Ensuring compliance is mandatory for all private-sector employers. The country’s Labor Ministry emphasized that these changes took effect on January 1, 2024, and encouraged workers to report any discrepancies in their January salaries to the National Wage Council.

Within Central America, Nicaragua stands at the opposite end of the spectrum with the lowest minimum monthly wage: US$213.

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Elsewhere in Latin America, countries like Mexico and Brazil still offer lower minimum wages in real terms.

While Mexico implemented a 20% increase in 2023, setting its minimum hourly wage at US$1.80, Brazil’s climbed to US$2.40 per hour (a 1.38% increase) in May 2023. Colombia set its minimum wage at US$3 for 2023, and Chile’s stands at US$3.70 as of September 2023.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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