SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his government plans to increase the island’s minimum wage by 44% as the local economy rebounds.
The change will go into effect in June. People making the minimum wage of $59 for a 40-hour workweek would instead earn $85.
Holness announced the plan Thursday evening during his budget presentation in Parliament, to the cheers of government supporters. He added that the increase is the biggest in 20 years.
The announcement came just days after the government increased teachers’ wages following a nearly weeklong protest that disrupted public schools.
Jamaica’s economy was hit by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a drop in tourism, but it has since recovered substantially, according to a February report by the International Monetary Fund.
Annual inflation in Jamaica ranged as high as 11% over the past two fiscal years but is projected to decline to about 5% in the coming fiscal year starting next month, the report said.