July 16, 2018 / 11:00 PM / 5 months ago

South Korea finance minister to focus on impact of minimum wage hikes

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon waits for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin before their meeting during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s finance minister on Tuesday said he will focus on assessing the impact of recent steep minimum wage hikes on the job market and prepare measures to fund small businesses under financial strain.

“Inevitably we will focus on the impact from minimum wage (hikes) in economic policymaking in the second half,” Kim Dong-yeon said at a government and party meeting in Seoul.

Kim said the government will prepare ways to subsidize low-income earners and small businesses to offset worries of looming job losses following the hikes.

On Saturday, the government-mandated Minimum Wage Commission said next year the minimum wage will increase another 10.9 percent to 8,350 won ($7.40) an hour, after a 16 percent increase for 2018.

Reporting by Hayoung Choi and Cynthia Kim, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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