Low-income nonregular workers at small businesses in South Korea have seen their wages drop steadily for nearly a year despite the minimum wage hike, mainly due to the decline in working hours, data showed Monday.
The monthly wages of temporary workers in such establishments as restaurants and bars with five to nine employees declined on-year for 11 straight months from May 2017 to March this year, according to the data from the Korean Statistical Information Service.
Industry observers said the decline in the workers' wages is mainly attributable to the drop in working hours. Temporary employees' working hours have been on the decline during the cited period, according to the data.
|Leaders of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, an umbrella union, rally near the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on May 29, 2018, to protest the passage of a minimum wage law revision bill by the parliament. (Yonhap)|
South Korea raised the hourly minimum wage by 16.4 percent to 7,530 won ($7) in January, the biggest jump in nearly two decades, and plans to increase the threshold to 10,000 won by 2020.
The government said the hike is aimed at income-led economic expansion and a reduction of the pay gap between workers, but there has been criticism that the increase is hurting entry-level jobs and weighing down the local economy.
Monthly salaries for regular workers at the same small businesses, meanwhile, increased on-year in February and March, the latest data showed. (Yonhap)