Hire in Guatemala

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Hire in Guatemala

The Guatemalan economy is the largest in Central America, with an average growth percentage of 3.3% from 2015 to 2018. Guatemala's economy is stable because of fiscal management, inflation targeting, and a good exchange rate. Guatemala is a relatively young country with 24 as the median age and population growth of 2% annually. The private sector generates about 85 percent of the GDP. The service sector generates 62 percent of Guatemala's GDP and employs 48 per cent of its population. Agriculture contributes 13.5 percent of the GDP, while industry contributes 24 per cent.

According to the OECD, the Guatemalan GDP is expected to decrease by 1.5% in 2020 due to the pandemic. Its impact is to be seen on external trade, private consumption, and remittances, all of which account for 88% of the GDP. Several factors uphold Guatemala's economy, like multilateral lenders, free trade agreements. Guatemala has a prime geographical location between the US and Mexico. These factors combine the prospect for diversification in several sectors such as tourism, agriculture, mining, hydroelectric and geothermal energy, etc. The IMF estimated a 4.5% GDP growth in 2021 and a 4.4% growth in 2022 despite the outbreak of the COVID-19.

Overview of Guatemala

Located in Central America, Guatemala borders El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and the northern Pacific Ocean. Guatemala's government sector owns a limited share of the overall economy. The government owns certain public services such as ports and airports, among which some have also been privatized. The presence of the United States in Guatemala is significant. Almost 36% of Guatemala's imports and 40% of exports are received and traded with the United States.

Population: 17.2 million

GDP: US $77.07 billion (FY 2020)

From 1991 to 2020, Guatemala's economy grew by 7.5% annually, rising from 19.74 billion US dollars in 2001 to 77.07 billion in 2020. The population growth rate of Guatemala is 1.6% annually.

Economic Overview

The Economy of Guatemala is a developing economy that is majorly reliant upon agribusiness, especially on customary harvests like espresso, sugar, and bananas. Guatemala's GDP per capita is around 33% of Brazil's.

The economy is expected to recuperate from the current year's pandemic-driven downfall. As Guatemala's largest trade partner, the US also gains control over the economy; Guatemala is expected to gather support in domestic products through remittances. According to Focus Economist, a 3.8% growth is expected in 2021, expanding to 3.2% in 2022.

Market Size

The economy of Guatemala is a mix of a free-market setup and centralized government planning.

The private sector contributes about 85% to Guatemala's GDP. Manufacturing is largely focused on food processing sent as exports. In 1990, women's participation in the labor force was only 42%. In 2000, it reached 43%, and in 2010, it reached 51%. Currently, 90% of men are in the labor force, compared with 89% in 1990 and 88% in 2000 (World Bank). Self-employed men make up about half of the population, while females make up 32%.

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Cost of Living in Guatemala

The cost of living in the overall estimate of expenses on expense categories in countries. On average, Guatemala has an expense percentage of 37.42 lower than the United States. A family of four has monthly spending of 16,279.57 Quetzal (USD 2102.52), and a single person has monthly spending of 4578.15 Q (USD 591.27). Both figures exclude the renting cost. To further elaborate on the costs, refer to the table below.

Category Area of Expense Estimated Cost Range in USD
Food and Beverage Grocery, vegetables, poultry, market 5-72 Q USD 0.65-9.30
Restaurants Single meals, combo packs, fast food and 5.53-250 Q USD 0.71-32.29
Utilities Water, Electricity, Garbage, Wi-Fi 488.56-520.71Q USD 63.03- 67.16
Transportation Ticket, Taxi, Car 7-850 Q USD 0.9-109.78
Salary and Financing

Monthly average salary Interest Rates

Interest rates

2650(lowest) -10500 (average) Q


USD 342.25- 1356


Cost of Renting in Guatemala

The cost of renting depends upon the accommodation you seek and the lifestyle you prefer. The monthly rent ranges from US $387-774 (3000-6000Q) for a one-bedroom apartment. The range goes up to US $900-1032 (7000-8000Q) for 3-bedroom accommodation. If your preference is to find accommodation in the city centre, then rent goes up by US $64-128 (500-1000Q) from the base rate. If you wish to buy an apartment, the range lies between US $774-2581 (6000-20000 Q).

Cost of living depending on Location

  • The major city in Guatemala is the capital Guatemala City. It has a population of 942,348.
  • In Guatemala, the cost of living is cheaper than in 50% of Latin American countries, with a ranking of 8 out of 16. Guatemala has a cheaper cost of living than 65% of the world's countries.
  • Mixco is another popular city with a population of 384,428.
  • Coban and Quetzaltenango are other major cities with a population of 251,000 and 120,496, respectively.

The cost of living in Guatemalan cities (family of four) has been listed in the table below

City Cost of Living (Q) Cost of Living (USD)
Guatemala City 16,626 Q US $2146
Mixco 12805.13 Q US $1653
Coban 12131.17 Q US $1566
Quetzaltenango 13990.36 Q US $1806

Top sectors expected to Hire

More than half of the Guatemalan economy is divided into four sectors: Manufacturing 20%, Commerce 18%, Private service 14%, and Agriculture contributes 12%. Services include tourism, health care, customer service, financial services, banking, communications, retail, etc. The sector accounts for the largest portion of GDP (62.7%) and 50% of jobs.

S. No Top Industries looking to hire
1. Agriculture
2. Automotive
3. Energy
4. IT/Software
5. Healthcare
6. Logistics
7. Transport
8. Agribusiness
9. Mining
10. Banking

Top skills in Guatemala

Guatemala citizens are looking for remote work on various job portals. The professions vary across various industries such as developers, project managers, management, teaching and even music. 

Software engineers and full-stack developers are in demand by various companies and startups hiring extensively from Guatemala.

Major skills and areas which have witnessed a recent growth rate

  • Web development
  • PHP
  • Software testing
  • Frontend and backend engineers
  • IT
  • Communication technology
  • Staffing and Outsourcing
  • Network solutions

Network administrator, IT, software engineer, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are the most popular occupations in Guatemala City, with salaries between US $4700 - US $7400 annually.

Hiring Costs

The hiring costs are an important aspect of any recruitment drive. Companies have to plan their drive and strategize, keeping in mind the factors and cost-based aspects of hiring processes. The cost per hire refers to the cost the company has to endure to hire every employee. The aspects include:

  • Onboarding expenses
  • Technology costs
  • Career costs
  • Advertising costs
  • Agency fees
  • Training
  • Investment of time and efforts

Salary Structure for various roles

The table below depicts the average salaries that are offered to employees in Guatemala according to different sectors:

IT Manager US $21,175 (163,816Q)
Software Engineers US $21,267 (164,528 Q)
Graphic Designers US $14,061 (108,780 Q)
Healthcare Physicians US $35,415 (273,981 Q)
Financial Analysts US $12,289 (95,071 Q)
Teaching US $11,810 (91,365 Q)
Project manager US $28,049 (216,995 Q)
UX Designer US $14,239 (110,157 Q)
Web developer US $13,224 (102,305 Q)
System Administrator US $19,970 (154,494 Q)

Employment Laws in Guatemala

Understanding employment laws are essential for hiring the local workforce. The labor system in Guatemala is relatively standard and at par with other countries in Central America. Employees are expected to work 45 hours per week. The laws also allow overtime of 10 hours. The overtime wage is 1.5 times the normal hourly wage. Salaries are issued in the legal currency for a 30-day work cycle. The salary can't be less than the minimum wage prescribed by the government agencies.

For non-agricultural sectors, the minimum wage is US $365 (2825Q) per month; for the agricultural sector, the minimum wage reaches up to US $354 (2742Q) monthly. In addition, hiring authorities must issue and work under the employment guide and internal work policy they abide by. A 15-day vacation period is also mandatory. Maternity leaves, sick leaves and other leaves are also provided as per labor laws.

How Can Skuad Help You with Hiring in Guatemala?

Guatemala has an employment market that is heavily regulated by government guidelines. As such, you will end up spending considerable time and resources on completing the process instead of focusing on more important tasks. With the best experts in the industry, Skuad can handle all your requirements to identify and acquire the best talent. Connect with Skuad Experts to know more.

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