CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela's president is ordering a 30 percent increase in the minimum wage, the latest move by the socialist government to grapple with high inflation and economic stagnation.
The boost announced Saturday night by President Nicolas Maduro comes after a 25 percent increase on March 1.
The new increase is effective Sunday, which is International Labor Day, and will push the minimum wage to 15,051 bolivars a month. That is about $1,500 at the official exchange rate, but is around $50 at the current black market rate, which largely sets prices of goods for Venezuelans.
Venezuela's oil export-dependent economy shrank 5.7 percent last year, shortages of basic goods multiplied and prices soared. The government has instituted rolling blackouts and state employees are working only two days a week to conserve electricity.