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Panama’s minister announces average minimum pay raise

Panama City, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) Panama's Labor and Labor Development Minister Doris Zapata announced on Wednesday an average minimum pay raise in the country, taking into account several economic variables.

On a press conference, the minister unfolded that the upturn in wages will be 4.5% for small- and medium-sized companies and 6% for large companies; while 7% will be established for the banana sector.

Zapata added that the new rates will be in force as of January 16, and they will be paid on the last day of the month, when the average minimum salary will be USD$ 636.80 and a maximum of USD$ 1,015 for some sectors, including aeronautical technicians.

She detailed that the lowest rate will be USD$341 for small- and medium-sized companies in agriculture and cattle raising.

A National Minimum Wage Commission was set up on August 30 and during four months it has been meeting with employers and workers’ leaders, with the Labor Ministry as mediator, but in December Zapata informed the talks concluded without consensus.

In this regard, Zapata said the Executive proceeded to establish the salary that will govern for the 2024 and 2025 years.

Through this announcement, Panama had 53 minimum wage rates in 73 economic activities nationwide, which are divided into two regions.

According to the authority, Panama’s growth projections are good, underscoring that wages must be fair, paying competitiveness, based on employees’skills.