Published on 4 September 2015 by Cuban News Agency
The average monthly salary in Cuba reported a significant 24-percent increase in 2014 with respect to the previous years, particularly for sugar workers, according to an article published on Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
While the general monthly average salary grew to 584 pesos (some 24,3 US dollars at current exchange), compared to 471 pesos (some 19,6 dollars) in 2013, the sugar sector reported an average 963 pesos (some 40.1 dollars) a month.
This salary raise was particularly due to the increase in the health sector, which employs over 400 thousand workers, as well as in some sports areas and in the foreign investment sector, meaning workers employed by companies operating with foreign capital, as part of a policy to gradually raise the salaries of state workers, the article explains and cites the National Statistics Office data on its Employment and Salary chapter.
According to the article, no significant salary increase will take place in 2015, since the authorities have not announced any substantial salary growth in any state sector that involves a large mass of worker as it happened in 2014.
Then those who saw their salaries grow more were employees in state companies and joint ventures, sugar workers, followed by those in the mining sector and in the area of science and technological innovation. Then came those in health care, social assistance, agriculture, livestock and ranching and in fishing.
Meanwhile the lowest salaries were those of persons working in hotels, state restaurants which only reached some 377 pesos a month (some 15,7 dollars), 35,4 percent below the country's average salary of 5 84 pesos. Add to this group, those who work in the public administration, the defense, culture, sports and social security sectors, where monthly salaries reached up to 485 pesos (20.2 dollars). Education, a massive sector, also remain at 500 pesos as average monthly salary, little over 24 dollars.
But the other side of the coin is that although the increase in the average monthly salary is considered significant, the salary is still far from playing its role to encourage labor and to meet daily necessities, given the huge gap between the wages and current prices of good and foodstuffs. What relieves the Cuban family's financial situation in socialist Cuba is that the salary is part of a stable income at the end of the day, given by free or highly subsidized services, which are really expensive in other countries. These expenses do not affect the salaries, since they are paid by the state, such as all medical and education services, pharmaceuticals, and utilities like telephone, water, and other ones.
However, even with the capacity of Cuban families to join efforts to cushion everyday life necessities, some find it difficult to cope with low salaries and high prices, even more when there is still the challenge posed by a double-currency economy.