A landscape image features a vast, green plain with a prominent plateau on the horizon. The sky is partly cloudy with a golden hue from the setting sun. In the foreground, the words "Biz Latin Hub" and "LATAM" are displayed, subtly highlighting discussions about minimum salary in Latin America.

Overview: Changes to Minimum Salary in Latin America for 2024

As nations strive to address economic challenges and enhance the well-being of their workforce, adjustments to the minimum salary in Latin America have taken center stage across the region. 

Many LATAM countries including Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia have recently introduced new employment laws to improve the work life of their people. The new government in Argentina is also due to review and update the labor laws there. 

This article will highlight the recent changes to minimum salary in Latin America and compare the wages across the different countries. 

See also: Company Formation in Latin America

A bar graph titled "Minimum monthly cost of living in selected Latin American countries (in U.S. dollars)" shows data for Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Panama, and Uruguay. Bars range from just under $600 to over $1,200. The Biz Latin Hub logo and contact information
Read about the minimum salary in Latin America

What is the lowest minimum wage in Latin America?

Venezuela currently holds the dubious distinction of having the lowest minimum wage in Latin America. Individuals in the country earn a meager 130 bolivars ($8) per month. This is significantly lower than in other Latin American nations. 

For instance, Ecuador has a basic monthly wage exceeding $425. Unfortunately, Venezuela’s minimum wage no longer serves as a viable benchmark for the private sector, where the average payment to lower-level workers stands at $126 per month. 

This dismal situation is further exacerbated by the country’s persistent inflation, steadily eroding the already feeble purchasing power associated with the minimum wage.

Which country in South America has the highest minimum wage?

Uruguay has the highest minimum wage in South America and the second-highest minimum salary in Latin America. It is currently 21,106 Uruguayan pesos which is about US$540. Chile follows with a minimum wage of 410,000 Chilean pesos, equivalent to about USD 475 per month. Costa Rica has the highest minimum salary in Latin America at US$603 per month. 

A map of Latin America displays the minimum salary in Latin America by region, with countries color-coded into three wage brackets: $603-$349 (dark blue), $326-$349 (medium blue), and $269-$189 (light blue). Icons indicate the specific wages for selected countries. Source: Statista.
Minimum salary in Latin America. 

Major changes to minimum salary in Latin America in 2024

Colombia is set to witness a 12% rise in its minimum wage this year. This adjustment will elevate the monthly figure to 1.3 million pesos (US$340). Notably, the increment translates to a substantial boost of 140,000 pesos ($36.63) per month in the minimum wage.

On December 1, 2023, the National Commission of Minimum Wages’ Board of Representatives issued a press release, announcing a unanimous agreement reached among the government, labor, and business sectors. According to this accord, there will be a 20% increase in minimum wages in 2024. 

As per the press release, the standard minimum wage is slated to rise from 207.44 to 248.93 MXN per day. Simultaneously, within the Northern Border Free Zone, the minimum wage is set to escalate from 312.41 to 374.89 MXN per day.

The Brazilian government has recently disclosed that the minimum wage for 2024 will see an increase to R$1,412 ($292), surpassing the current amount by R$92 ($19). President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is anticipated to formalize this adjustment through a decree by the end of the current month.

This upward revision in the minimum wage aligns with the recently sanctioned minimum wage increase policy, as endorsed by Congress. The policy hinges on the combined impact of two metrics: inflation gauged by the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) and the genuine growth observed in the gross domestic product (GDP) over the preceding two years.

In May, the Chilean government disclosed that the law proposing a gradual elevation of the minimum wage in Chile to 500,000 pesos (US$622.50) received approval from the Chamber of Deputies. This increment will be effective from May 2023 to April 2025, ensuring a consistent minimum wage throughout the entirety of 2024.

The Ecuadorian government has recently declared a $10 increment in the existing minimum wage for 2024. Consequently, Ecuadorian workers will witness a rise, setting the new minimum salary at $460. According to an official statement from the ministry, this measure is aimed at benefiting workers and was implemented following unsuccessful negotiations between business groups and workers’ organizations to reach a mutual agreement on the wage increase.

Biz Latin Hub can help you start a business in Latin America

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in major cities in the region. 

We also have trusted partners in many other markets. Our unequaled reach means we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross-border operations.

As well as knowledge about minimum salary in Latin America, our range of services includes hiring & PEO accounting & taxation, company formation, bank account opening, and corporate legal services.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in finding top talent or doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If this article on changes to minimum salary in Latin America was of interest to you, check out the rest of our region coverage. Or read about our team and expert authors.

Biz Latin Hub services infographic with the company logo and website. Services listed: Accounting & Taxation, Hiring & PEO, Company Formation to incorporate a company in Colombia, Legal Services, Bank Account Opening, Visa Processing. Contact email shown at bottom right. Background shows a globe.
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey
Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest business news and advice about entity formation, legal entity compliance, accounting, back office and fiscal requirements. Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.