As the debate over Colombia’s minimum wage increase for 2014 continues, workers’ unions called for an 8% increase, while the business lobby called for a 3.3% increase.
Colombia’s monthly minimum wage for 2013 was $305.47 per month, or $3,665 per year. From 2012 to 2013, the minimum wage was increased by 4.02%, surpassing the 2013 inflation rate of 1.67% (calculated in November 2013).
Colombia’s Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo said to local media to expect a 4% increase in the minimum wage again this year.
Workers’ unions were disappointed by the government minimum wage raise increase in 2013.
In addition to their proposal for a 8% increase, the workers union also called for a 12% increase for a transportation subsidy for minimum wage workers.
According to government statistics, 54% of workers in Colombia earn the minimum wage or less. Furthermore, a total of 3.4 million workers do not earn even one half of the country’s minimum wage.
In Colombia, much of the country’s economic activity exists outside the government-regulated economy, allowing employers to pay workers salaries less than the legal minimum wage.
There are 900,000 Colombian workers (less than 5%) who earn over four times the monthly minimum wage. Of those who earn over four times the minimum wage, 630,000 have a university education.