Economy January 26, 2016 | 11:22 am

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Dominican Republic employers list hurdles to wage hike

Santo Domingo.- DominicanRepublic Employers Confederation (COPARDOM) president Joel Santos on Tuesdaysaid the factors which in his view prevent higher wages need to be addressed, tomake way to improve workers´ benefits and the economy in general.

He said among thefactors figure the high unemployment rate, rigid labor regulations, a largepresence of undocumented laborers and deficient training of human capital.

Quoted, the business leader said an economically active population offive million and an annual growth of 2.2% in that figure, it takes 110,000 jobsper year “just to keep the unemployment rate stable in 2015.”

"Generallyspeaking to improve wages in a faster way we must attack the problem ofunemployment and underemployment, because the existence of these indicates thatwith the current salaries people aren’t willing to enter the formal labormarket under today´s conditions."

He said despite thosehurdles formal market wages grow 5% per year, according to official figures fromthe Social Security Treasury (TSS).

Nonetheless thebusiness leader said it´s difficult to accurately measure the number of wages paid,due to nominal compensation not covered as an integral part of a worker´s salary.

"Examples of theseitems are allowances, gratuities, per diems, fuel, housing, overtime and otherbonuses, which make it impossible to measure the correct variable for purposesof economic studies," he said.

"We must also understandthat we have an informal market of 55% which makes it even more difficult tomeasure potential income."

Santos said those who proposewage increases on productivity gains, but based of closed data should take intoaccount the performance of the productivity of capital and the development oftechnology, indicators which in his view are difficult to determine from availableinformation.

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