Employees in Myanmar see wages raise this October 

To help employees cope with raising costs of living, Myanmar has raised the minimum wage for the first time since 2018.
By: | October 11, 2023

Myanmar has raised the minimum wage for the first time since 2018, with employees seeing their wages raise by over 20%. According to the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar, this new wage reform went into effect at the beginning of October and applies across all employment sectors and industries.

The increase to about MMR 5,800 (USD $8.61) per day means employees will see an MMR 1,000 (USD $0.48) allowance to the old minimum daily wage of MMR 4,800 (USD $2.30) for an 8-hour day. Military personnel and civil servants have been enjoying a monthly allowance of MMR 30,000 (USD $14.35) since last year.

Myanmar has already been subjected to inflationary pressures, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicting last month of inflation hitting 14%, which is 3.5% higher than previously forecasted in April. In contrast, ADB expects the rest of the developing Asia region to see a reduction in inflation from 4.2% to 3.6%.

The cause of inflating prices has been attributed to currency depreciation, with the gap between the official exchange rate -pegged at MMR 2,100 to USD $1- and the prevailing rate given by money changers has widened, with money changers pegging it from MMR 3,300 to but has gone as high as MMR 4,000 to USD $1.  Prices on necessities such as food and medicine have soared, with some going two to three times higher than at the start of 2021, reported Nikkei Asia.

READ MORE:No change to minimum wage in Myanmar 

To curb this, some organisations have already raised wages for their employees, with one organisation citing an MMR 800 (USD $0.38) increase two months before, with a further MMR 200 (USD $0.096) increase in line with the new minimum wage.

“From the beginning, our company has considered increasing the wages of the employees,” said a spokesperson. “There will be no issue operating our business.”