Moon's job committee vows to raise minimum wage early

Du Ri Jang, June 6, 2017, 9:36 a.m.


The new presidential committee on job creation is set to hold a series of meetings this week with business lobbies representing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), partly to learn their views on raising the minimum wage, the committee said Tuesday.

Starting Thursday, committee officials will meet with representatives from the Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise, Korea Federation of SMEs and many others.

The meetings are largely aimed at listening to possible difficulties that small businesses may experience following a rise in the minimum wage and reduced working hours, the committee said in a press release.

Increasing the minimum wage and reducing average working hours are two pillars of President Moon Jae-in's labor and economic policy -- income-led growth -- which stipulates a rise in income will lead to increased spending, which in turn will boost the overall economy.

Moon has promised to increase the minimum wage to 10,000 won (US$8.93) an hour before his five-year term ends in May 2022.

However, the presidential committee has vowed to reach the target level at the earliest date possible. The new presidential committee was created last week, about three weeks after the president came into office on May 10. The minimum hourly rate currently stands at 6,470 won.

"The Moon Jae-in administration will be a government that communicates. The requests and suggestions made at our upcoming meetings will be actively reflected in our future policies," the committee's Vice Chairman Lee Yong-sup was quoted as saying.

The presidential committee is headed by the president himself, apparently highlighting his emphasis on job creation.

The committee is also tasked with creating 810,000 new jobs in the public sector alone, another key election pledge of President Moon.

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