This article analyses the share of total income represented by employment earnings in the countries of Latin America over the last two decades. It first considers the wage share of gross domestic product (gdp) and then adds in the earnings of self-employed workers. The findings indicate that both total wages and total earnings declined as a share of gdp in most of the region’s countries over the period, although there were some exceptions. The reduction in earnings inequality seen over the past decade was not usually accompanied by an increase in the gdp share of earnings. This means that the improvement in personal income distribution was not matched by an improvement in functional distribution.