Guatemala City. Yesterday the National Institute of Statistics of Guatemala (INE) published the new national survey on income and expenditures. The INE surveys show that in Guatemala, 60 percent of the working population does not receive the minimum wage. The indigenous workers get even less. The INE surveys consist in data collection about Family Income and Expenditure, Revenue and Agricultural Statistics.
“96 percent of the population belongs to the working class in the country, of which 60 percent do not perceive the minimum wage. This means they do not enjoy social benefits like health insurance, pension, vacations and overtime in accordance to the labor laws” said Marciano Castillo, director of INE
He also stated: "The rate of unemployment in the country is so high, that people are willing to work for anything in order to survive.”
The survey reflects the slow progress in the Human Development Index of Guatemala, the increase in 2011 has been only 0.57.
On the other hand, the results obtained by the surveys indicate that there is increased school attendance by children, both boys and girls; extreme poverty has declined 2 % compared to 2010. INE noted that the economically active population (EAP) grew 1 percent in 2011 and reached 5, 836, 341 inhabitants, 96 percent of that population works.
The agricultural sector employs 38 percent of the population, followed by services with 26 percent, trade occupies 18 percent and the industry keeps 14 percent of the population.
The study shows that the monthly salary in the private sector is 8 percent below the average minimum wage, 1, 802.99 Quetzales ($ 232.04).
The public sector pays 58% more in salaries, 3, 386.62 Quetzales ($ 435.85) per month.
The salary of the indigenous people is 1,255.38 Quetzales, ($ 161.56), which constitutes about 23 percent less than the national average, the report concluded.
Picture: Barbara Schieber, Mayan woman, Guatemala