Jobs see second wage hike in two years
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — For the second time in as many years, the lowest-paying jobs in Jamaica are about to be worth that much more as the government gears up for yet another minimum wage increase.
Even better, this second round of increases will be even more significant than last year’s, being the largest minimum wage hike in some 20 years.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement in the House of Representatives during the recent budget debate, advising that the new rate “represents a 44 percent increase”.
An official government statement shortly thereafter confirmed more details, noting, “Effective June 1, 2023, the national minimum wage will increase from $9,000 to $13,000 per 40-hour work week.”
This is compared to April 1, 2022, when the country’s minimum wage jumped from JMD$7,000 to the $9,000 it is at presently.
Industrial security guards will also have a separate increase, with the minimum wage for that specific occupation increasing from JMD$10,500 to $14,000 per week.
The wage hike for security guards will also come into effect on June 1.
So will other measures to improve their working conditions and ensure they “qualify for housing and national insurance pension”.
Jobs in Jamaica amongst the lowest-paid
The new minimum wage is roughly USD$116 per week, making it among the lowest in the Caribbean despite the significant increase to come in just a few months’ time.
However, the government made a case for its continuing efforts to improve the quality of life for all Jamaican workers through repeated minimum wage hikes.
It noted, “Since 2016, the minimum wage has moved from $6,200 to $13,000, representing a 110 percent increase over the seven-year period.”
Further, Prime Minister Holness said, “This administration is fully committed to providing minimum-wage earners with a livable wage as part of its commitment to prosperity for our people…
“We recognize that the contributions of minimum-wage earners such as household workers, artisans, labourers, store clerks and security personnel are vital to the success of our manufacturers, hotel professionals, lawyers, doctors and teachers in meeting our national productivity and service targets.”
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