Minimum Wage Update: In Jamaica

I am often asked about employee salaries, and what the Minimum Wage is in Jamaica. Read the attached article for a  small clue.

Please note that one US dollar is currently worth $89.00 dollars in Jamaican currency ( May 13th, 2009), and exactly two years ago, the same US dollar was worth $70.00 Jamaican dollars.

Since Jamaica is an island into which most things are imported, most people try to purchase as many locally grown foods items as possible. If you, the expat, attempt to only purchase brands that you are familiar with  from your home country, you may develop sticker shock at the grocery check out lines. In other words the cost of living in Jamaica is high, but manageable.

Minimum wage up $370 weekly

Friday, May 01, 2009


MINIMUM wage earners have been granted a 10 per cent increase, effective May 11, Labour and Social Security Minister Pearnel Charles announced yesterday.

Domestic minimum wage earners will have their wages increased by $370 per week or $74 per day, moving the existing figure of $3,700 per week to $4,070.

The minister also announced a 10 per cent increase for industrial security guards, effective June 1.

The wages for guards will move from $5,500 to $6,050 weekly, an increase of $500.50 for a 40-hour workweek.

Laundry allowance for the guards has moved from $25 per hour to $27.50 per hour, and firearm allowance will be increased from $27.50 per hour to $30.25 per hour.

Dog handlers premium allowance will also be increased from $18.50 per hour to $20.35 per hour.

The announcement by Minister Charles came as a surprise to some MPs as he had previously told a parliamentary committee studying the flexi-week proposal that no decision had been taken on the matter up to March.

Charles told the House that the report of the national minimum wage advisory committee was submitted to Cabinet in December 2008.

“However, in light of the financial crises, further consultation were held with a number of stakeholders. As a result of these consultations Government had to ensure reasonable balance between employers, workers, and the state of the macroeconomy in order to ensure that the burden of the crises is equitably distributed,” Charles said.