In just two months of Milei’s government, the purchasing power of salaries collapsed as a result of the strong devaluation and the liberalization of prepaid bills and fuel. The salary increase in January was 14.7%, according to the Average Taxable Remuneration of Stable Workers (RIPTE) against an inflation of 20.6% in the first month of the year.

Luis Campos, coordinator of the Social Law Observatory of the CTA-Autonomous, calculated that The RIPTE index fell 20.7% in real terms in the first two months of the year.

In January 2024, The average salary was $555,269.16 while the basic basket for a family of four people, two older and two younger, It was $596,823 to not be considered in poverty. That is, the average salary was $41,554 below the family basket.

Los formal workers They have a certain protection from the joint ventures and it is a segment of the working class that is the best paid, even so formal salaries have collapsed. This anticipates a greater decline in the wages of informal workers. According to the latest data available from Indec, the loss of real wages for the informal sectors in December 2023 was 57.5% compared to October 2016 (since that date Indec publishes the data). The purchasing power of informal workers fell 44.2% (December 2023 vs December 2019), and plummeted 14.2% in December alone.

The luxury of eating

In the last twelve months, inflation of food and non-alcoholic beverages was 296.2%, above the general level (254.2%), according to Indec. A new report from the CTA Research and Training Center (Cifra) estimated how the salary’s ability to acquire essential goods such as food was reduced. Cifra details that “considering this evolution of salary is also a way of approaching the loss of purchasing power suffered by the lowest salaries, which are spent in greater proportion on food and beverages.”

The document indicates that between the months of November and December 2023, the average real registered salary fell by 13.1%, reaching 15.9% when considering the purchasing power measured only in food and beverages.

In terms of food and beverages, the loss of purchasing power reaches 23.8% between November 2023 and January 2024, “which results in average values ​​that are equivalent to less than half of what they were in November 2015”, adds Cifra.

Salaries plummeted during the Macri administration, under the Frente de Todos government what was lost was not recovered and the salary decline continued. Milei and Caputo’s measures deepened the deterioration of purchasing power.

It is urgent to emergency increase for salaries, pensions and social programs, including an income for monotributistas and informal workers. No worker should earn less than what the Indec family basket costs, but the perspective should be to reach a minimum consumption basket of $931,323, as estimated by the Internal Board of ATE Indec.

The Government launched a war plan against working people with high tariffs, devaluation, layoffs and adjustments, among other measures. The union confederations, the CGT and the CTA, have to put themselves at the head of a fighting plan to defeat the adjustment plans of Milei and Caputo.


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