Minimum wages to go up a mere 0.5 percent

The Consejo Nacional de Salarios approved a general half a percent raise in the national minimum salaries for private workers at a meeting Wednesday.

The announcement came from the Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social.

The increase was less than the 2.3 to 3.5 percent sought by worker representatives. Employers had suggested no raise.

The new salaries will take effect July 1.

The Consejo also approved a 2 percent raise for domestic employees, who are among those getting the lowest monthly salary.

The minister of Trabajo, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, presented the proposal that finally was accepted unanimously by the Consejo.

The Consejo heard that annual inflation actually was minus .43 percent and that inflation in May was negligible at just 0.03 percent.

The Consejo also heard that in Costa Rica there are about 141,000 domestic employees who earn the legal minimum of 251,239.04 colons a month. That is about $470. They are at the bottom of the minimum salary list that fixes pay for many wage categories.

That is why they received a bigger increase.

The ministry will be publishing on its site a list of the new salaries.

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