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Presidential job committee meets biz lobby on job creation

All News 11:12 June 19, 2017

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- The presidential committee on job creation said Monday it will meet with representatives of the country's major business lobby later in the day to touch on job creation and other economic issues.

The Presidential Committee on Job Creation said Lee Yong-sup, its vice chairman, will meet with Bahk Byong-won, chairman of the Korea Employers Federation (KEF), and other officials of the business lobby at the committee's office in downtown Seoul to seek recommendations on what the government should do to help businesses create more jobs.

The meeting is also expected to address the government's plans to raise minimum wages, shift nonregular workers to regular employees and reduce work hours, according to industry sources.

The Moon Jae-in administration has submitted an 11.2 trillion-won (US$9.89 billion) supplementary budget to help create 110,000 new jobs, mostly in the public sector amid lukewarm reaction from opposition parties, which hold a majority in the 300-seat National Assembly.

President Moon has pledged to create 810,000 new quality jobs in the public sector during his five-year presidency.

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

Against this backdrop, Kim Young-vae, KEF vice chairman, said on May 25 that businesses have difficulty in managing demands by nonregular workers to make them regular employees.

"Small and medium enterprises, especially, face the threat of extinction," he said. "It is unrealistic to say having nonregular workers are not good without considering the circumstances of each company and each individual employee."

Kim also called on the government to come up with measures for a flexible labor market, saying hard-line trade unions have caused higher wages for regular workers in big businesses in the country than their counterparts in Japan where the per capita gross domestic products (GDP) is higher than in South Korea.

The Bank of Korea echoed the theme in a report in January, saying the polarization of the labor market makes it harder for college students to find employment as they shy away from low-income or temporary positions due to slim chances of transferring to better paid regular jobs.

An undated file photo of Lee Yong-sup (2nd from L), vice chairman of the Presidential Committee on Job Creation, presiding over a meeting in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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