Jamaica’s national minimum wage is to be increased by 44 per cent from $9,000 to $13,000 per 40-hour workweek, effective June 1.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as he wrapped up a more than five-hour-long Budget presentation at Gordon House on Thursday.
The prime minister also announced that the minimum wage for industrial security guards will be increased from $10,500 per week to $14,000. This will also be effective June 1.
He explained that the differential between the national minimum wage and the minimum wage payable to security guards has narrowed because security guards are now classified as workers following a court ruling last year.
Holness said the next time an increase in the national minimum wage is announced, there will be no differential between the two groups.
According to the prime minister, the Government was strategic in its decision not to impose new taxes in the trillion-dollar budget it has presented, in order not to erode the income of Jamaicans.
Said Holness: “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.”
He also boasted that since assuming office in 2016, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government has increased the minimum wage from $6,200 per week to $13,000 or 110 per cent over the seven-year period.
He noted 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 boasted further that the Government has done more than any previous government to create prosperity for Jamaica and Jamaicans.
The national minimum wage was last increased in April 2022.