Venezuela’s president hiked the nation’s minimum wage another 60% on Sunday in response to the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro announced the change on his weekly television show. It’s the latest in a series of hefty increases to the minimum wage that have been issued as the country’s currency plunges in value.
Though the wage hike sounds significant, the country’s price of food, goods and medicine is skyrocketing, which has made basic purchases too expensive for many Venezuelans.
The crisis has driven Venezuelans into the streets to protest, where chaos and violence have ensued. As of last Wednesday, at least 28 people have been killed since the unrest erupted, according to Venezuela’s attorney general.
Unemployment in Venezuela is expected to pass 25% this year, and it could reach as high as 28% next year. The rate was 7.4% in 2015.
Venezuela’s economy shrank a massive 18% last year — its third year of recession — and it’s expected to be in the red this year, and next too.
Inflation is expected to surge to 720% this year and 2,068% next year, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund.
Maduro, who took office in 2013, has blamed the country’s woes on an economic war waged by his political opponents, according to state-run news agency AVN.
The new wage he announced Sunday will apply to a range of professions, including teachers, doctors, firefighters, police and military personnel.
The latest hike brings the minimum wage to 65,021 bolivares per month, up from 40,638. With an additional food stamp hike, that brings the country’s wage to 200,021 bolivares per month. Maduro is allowing for food stamps to be deposited and used as cash.
The total monthly wage isequivalent to about $ 46.70, according to the popular but unofficial exchange rate website DolarToday.com.
–CNN’s Marilia Brocchetto contributed to this story.
Editor’s note: The International Monetary Fund’s inflation forecast for Venezuela has been updated to reflect the most recent forecast.