During his national television broadcast on Saturday, President Rafael Correa said that Ecuador’s minimum wage for 2016 covers the cost of a family’s basic necessities.
“For the first time in our history, the minimum wage covers the cost of the basic goods for a family in Ecuador. We are the first country in Latin America to accomplish this,” he said.
Last week, the Ministry of Labor announced the wage would be $366 for 2016, an increase of $12 from this year.
Correa also said that the new wage puts Ecuador in second place, behind Argentina, for highest minimum wage calculated in dollars in Latin America.
During his weekly broadcast, Correa also said the government will provide incentives to businesses to increase employment. Among those being considered are reduction in import taxes, allowing more flexibility in labor contracts, and refinancing of tax and social security debts to the government.
Acknowledging that Ecuador faces difficult economic times in 2016, Correa said the government hopes the incentives will keep the country’s unemployment rate low.