Iraqi wages set to rise as reconstruction demand grows

24 April 2003
Salaries for skilled Iraqis are expected to rise as reconstruction activity mounts and normal economic resumes across the country, according to Rafael Jabba, a member of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Iraq team.

Speaking at a USAID seminar in Washington by telephone from Kuwait City earlier in April, Jabba said that an English-speaking professional can be hired in Iraq for about $100 a month, engineers earn $50 a month and teachers get paid $30 a month. 'As demand increases, we are looking at something probably close to $100 a month [for engineers],' he said. 'If it is an Iraqi that's been living outside the country, he's going to demand something like 10 times that rate.'

Jabba said that in mid-April, 95 per cent of telephone lines were not working in Iraq and there were no functioning cell phones outside Basra. He said that the US-led coalition was planning to establish a cell phone service for its own use.

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