South Korean President’s ratings slide on minimum wage debacle South Korean President’s ratings slide on minimum wage debacle

South Korean President’s ratings slide on minimum wage debacle
25 Jul 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's popularity has dropped by six percentage points, following a minimum wage increase that has drawn criticism from employers and workers alike.

According to a Realmeter poll, Moon’s approval rating has fallen to 61.7%, the biggest drop recorded by the firm since he assumed the presidency in May last year and the lowest level since January, when 60.8% of those questioned were happy with his performance. 

The fall follows uproar over the local minimum wage board’s decision to raise hourly base pay by 10.9% next year to 8,350 won (US$7.37). Some 42% of employers described the planned hike as too steep, although another two out of five said it was adequate. But some business owners have complained that the added costs could force them to close. 

As a result, it is expected that Moon will hold back on his push to raise the rate by a third by 2020. During a meeting with top aides, he apologised for failing to raise wages at the pace promised, according to Bloomberg. "The government will do its best to accomplish the 10,000 per hour goal at the earliest date," Moon added.

South Korea recently cut its economic growth forecasts for this year, citing rising global trade tensions and a slump in facilities investment. Asia’s fourth-largest economy is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2018, versus an earlier forecast of 3%, the Finance Ministry said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in's popularity has dropped by six percentage points, following a minimum wage increase that has drawn criticism from employers and workers alike.

According to a Realmeter poll, Moon’s approval rating has fallen to 61.7%, the biggest drop recorded by the firm since he assumed the presidency in May last year and the lowest level since January, when 60.8% of those questioned were happy with his performance. 

The fall follows uproar over the local minimum wage board’s decision to raise hourly base pay by 10.9% next year to 8,350 won (US$7.37). Some 42% of employers described the planned hike as too steep, although another two out of five said it was adequate. But some business owners have complained that the added costs could force them to close. 

As a result, it is expected that Moon will hold back on his push to raise the rate by a third by 2020. During a meeting with top aides, he apologised for failing to raise wages at the pace promised, according to Bloomberg. "The government will do its best to accomplish the 10,000 per hour goal at the earliest date," Moon added.

South Korea recently cut its economic growth forecasts for this year, citing rising global trade tensions and a slump in facilities investment. Asia’s fourth-largest economy is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2018, versus an earlier forecast of 3%, the Finance Ministry said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

MORE ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Washington DC considers repealing minimum wage increases for tipped workers

Myanmar introduces controversial new minimum wage

Malaysia to introduce sector-based minimum wage policy

 

 

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