Is raising the minimum wage beneficial?
President Moon Jae-in pledged to raise the minimum wage to at least 10,000 South Korean won by 2020; a controversial move that had been endorsed by scholars but criticized by both conservative and liberal political commentators across the country. The general public was also divided, with some arguing the consequential increase in the cost of living is a negative outcome of the wage increase. Opinion polls showed that only half of the population shared positive sentiments toward the general direction their country was going.
How are small and medium sized businesses affected?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had also been opposed to raising the minimum wage. Most business owners of this size stated that increasing revenue and maintaining profitability were major challenges for them, and this was intrinsically linked to the minimum wage they pay their employees. With the voices of employees and employers, especially those of medium and small businesses, were opposed, this conflict of opinions seemed to have intensified since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.