The minimum monthly wage in Lebanon currently ranks among the lowest worldwide amid a continued collapse of the Lebanese pound to the US dollar, which sank to a record low of 9,500 on the black market Thursday.
A report by Information International, an independent regional research and consultancy firm, revealed a comparison study between the minimum wages in Lebanon and other countries.
“Lebanon ranks among the 10 countries in the world with the lowest minimum wages,” the report said.
It explained that the minimum monthly wage stands at LL675,000 or around $70 when calculated at the current market rate of LL9,400 per US dollar.
It said prior to the current economic crisis, Lebanon's minimum monthly wage stood at $450 when the US dollar was priced at the old official rate of LL1,500.
“Lebanon is followed by Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Angola, Gambia, Yemen, Malawi, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan in the ranking of countries with the lowest minimum wages,” according to the report.
Parliamentary sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday that reforms expected in Lebanon to save the dire economic and financial situation await the formation of a new government.
“The Lebanese authorities cannot introduce any change to the current salaries of public servants because the official rate is still at LL1,517 to the dollar,” the sources said.
Lebanon is awaiting talks with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to liberalize the pound exchange rate.
The government entered talks with IMF last May after defaulting on its foreign currency debt, but the negotiations have stalled in the absence of reforms and amid a row between the government, banks and politicians over the scale of the country’s vast financial losses.