WELLINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's minimum wage will rise by 50 NZ cents (36 U.S. cents) to 15.75 NZ dollars an hour from April 1, Workplace Relations and safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said Tuesday.
The hourly minimum wage rates for young workers would increase to remain at 80 percent of the adult minimum wage, Woodhouse said in a statement.
"The government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting our lowest paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost," said Woodhouse.
The rise would benefit about 119,500 workers and increase wages throughout the economy by 65 million NZ dollars per year.
"At a time when annual inflation is 0.4 percent, a 3.3-percent increase to the minimum wage will give our lowest paid workers more money in their pockets, without hindering job growth or imposing undue pressure on businesses," he said. (1 New Zealand dollar = 0.72 U.S. dollar)