Puerto Rico to raise minimum wage for 1st time in 12 years


SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – AUGUST 01: The Puerto Rican Capitol building is seen where legislators are debating who will replace Ricardo Rossello as the Governor of Puerto Rico on August 1, 2019 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Governor is scheduled to step down on August 2nd, after he was forced out of office when it was revealed that he and top aides were part of a private chat group that contained misogynistic and homophobic messages. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor signed a bill Tuesday to increase the U.S. territory’s minimum wage for the first time in more than 12 years.

The current minimum pay of $7.25 an hour will increase to $8.50 in January and to $9.50 in July 2023. A third increase to $10.50 is contemplated for July 2024, but would require further approval.

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said the first increase could represent an additional $2,000 a year for a full-time worker.

Many cheered the move, given the high cost of living on an island struggling to emerge from a deep economic slump as it restructures a portion of its more than $70 billion public debt via a bankruptcy-like process.

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