Gov't to Protect SMEs after 16.4% Minimum Wage Hike Video

Write : 2017-07-17 00:00:01 Update : 2017-07-18 09:40:37

Anchor: South Korea's minimum wage for next year has been raised to seven-thousand-530 won, an increase of 16-point-four percent. The increase is expected to be a big boost for income-led growth but the government is already planning measures to relieve small business’ of the burden the rise may cause.
Our Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: South Korea's minimum wage for next year has been set at seven-thousand-530 won per hour, up 16-point-four percent from this year.
The Minimum Wage Commission, a trilateral council of representatives from labor, management and the general public, decided on the raise in a vote during its eleventh plenary meeting on Saturday.
The one-thousand-60 won hike per hour guarantees slightly more than one-point-57 million won, or about one-thousand 391 U.S. dollars, in monthly salary based on a 40-hour workweek.
Fifteen of the 27-member commission voted for the increase demanded by labor groups, while 12 voted for seven-thousand 300 won requested by management.
The 16-point-four percent raise is the largest since 2000 when it was increased 16-point-six percent. Minimum wage increases over the last five years stood at seven-point-four percent on average. 
President Moon Jae-in during his campaign promised to increase the minimum wage to ten-thousand won per hour before his five-year term ends in May 2022.
The government says boosting wages for those in the low income bracket will stimulate domestic demand. Large businesses on the other hand argue that the decision will lead to reduced recruitment. The Korea Federation of Small and Medium-size Businesses said that the move has increased labor cost by 15 trillion won.
Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon on Sunday held a meeting with economy-related ministers. He acknowledged that the hike will be a huge momentum for income-led growth but it could impose a heavy burden on small business owners and possibly undermine job creation. He said that the government will swiftly produce measures to relieve small businesses of the burden.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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