Minimum Wage Increased By 15% to 18%
Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 10:17 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: As expected the union leaders wanted more and the business leaders wanted to pay less. This increase basically splits the difference and more than makes up for the increases in cost of living due to inflation (at about 10%) so it also should add somewhat to the true spending power of the poorest Panamanians. This article fails to point out that the true cost of having an employee in Panama is actually about twice the stated wage, once you add in additional expenses for Social Security payments, mandatory vacation time, paid holidays, maternity leave, and the "13th month" bonuses. So, if you're a businessman out there making your plans and doing the math, start with the monthly minimum wage, double it, and multiply times 12. That's about your annual cost per employee. And of course that will be higher if you need skilled labor or anyone who can demand a higher wage, someone who is bilingual, high school or college graduate, skilled in just about anything, etc.