National minimum wage up 44% to $13,000 weekly - Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The national minimum wage will be increased from $9,000 to $13,000 per 40-hour work week effective June 1.

This is a 44 per cent increase and the largest in 20 years.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement a short while ago during his contribution to the Budget Debate at Gordon House.

He said the minimum wage for industrial security guards will be increased from $10,500 per week to $14,000, also effective June 1.

Holness said the Government was strategic in not imposing new taxes in the trillion-dollar budget in order not to erode the income of Jamaicans.

“We recognised that the contribution of minimum wage earners such as household workers, artisans, labourers, store clerks and security personnel is vital to the success of our manufacturers, hotel professionals, lawyers, doctors and teachers in meeting our national productivity and service targets,” the prime minister said.

He said that since assuming office in 2016, the Jamaica Labour Party Government has increased the minimum wage from $6,200 to $13,000 or 110 per cent in seven years.

He pointed out that the cumulative inflation over the period was less than 50 per cent “and even in US dollars it represents a 66 per cent increase in the minimum wage”.

Holness stated that his government has done more than any previous government to create prosperity for Jamaica and Jamaicans.

He explained that as it relates to security guards, the difference in the national minimum wage and that paid to the guards has narrowed. He said this was strategic as security guards are now classified as workers.

The differential will be removed the next time an increase in the national minimum wage is announced.

The minimum wage as announced by the prime minister is the minimum amount employers in Jamaica can pay. It was last increased in April 2022.

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