The first increase will take effect next week; followed by another next year
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Around 200,000 workers in the Dominican Republic can look forward to more income for the rest of the year, thanks to a new minimum wage hike.
Jobs in Manufacturing Free Zones will all have a 15 percent increase in minimum wage starting next week.
Even better, workers will receive another five percent bump next year, bringing it to a total of a 20 percent increase within the next 12 months.
An official government statement on the matter read, “The Ministry of Labor announced a 20 percent increase in minimum wage for employees of Manufacturing Free Zones.
“The wage increase was approved during the Tuesday, April 11, 2023, National Wages Committee (CNS) session.
“The wage increase will be applied 15 percent as of May 1, 2023, and five percent as of April 2024.
“The previous minimum wage in free zones was RD$13,915 (around USD$256).
“The new wage as of 1 May will now be RD$16,002.25 (USD$294), increasing to RD$16,700 (USD$307) by April 2024.”
Hundreds of manufacturing jobs will see wage bump
According to the Dominican government’s statistics, businesses in the impacted zones “employ more than 192,000 direct workers,” most of whom are minimum wage earners.
The Dominican Republic has more than 70 Free Zones that provide manufacturing and export enterprises with tax incentives and other benefits designed to promote business activity and job creation/growth across the country.
Businesses in these zones include manufacturing hubs for textiles and clothing/footwear, but also industries like food and beverage and even electronics and medical equipment.
Additionally, even more indirect jobs could also be impacted by the wage hike, as other small, locally-owned businesses may also benefit from increased business.
Overall, the wage hike will help enable more Dominican employees to maintain their standard of living if not afford a higher standard amidst sky-high inflation.
Another Caribbean country to adjust minimum wage
The Dominican Republic’s wage hike is just one more indicator of the minimum wage “fever” that has continued to spread throughout the Caribbean in the past few years.
It also follows the government announcing a 19 percent increase in minimum wage for private sector jobs in the Dominican Republic.
This makes the country one of the latest among many of its regional neighbours to take steps to provide some additional income to its citizens and residents.
In most cases, global inflation was cited as a major reason for minimum wage changes, again demonstrating the region’s economic resilience even in the most uncertain times.