May 04, 2018 11:52
Koreans are increasingly unhappy with the income-led growth policy of the Moon Jae-in administration that was to change the paradigm of Korea's economic growth.
The aim is to spur consumption by raising wages and the incomes of self-employed people. Over the last year, the government has raised the minimum wage and compelled business to give full employment to temporary workers.
The Chosun Ilbo asked the Korea Economic Research Institute and pollster Research and Research to poll some 800 adults nationwide on their attitude to the policies.
Some 49.4 percent of respondents said economic conditions had worsened over the past year, while only 11.4 percent felt it had improved. The rest said it is the same.
Some 51.6 percent said the job market had gotten worse but only 9.9 percent that it has improved.
Middle and low-income earners and self-employed workers are the most disappointed. Among respondents who earn less than W2 million a month, 53 percent said economic conditions worsened over the past year, as did 52.6 percent of those who make between W2 million and W3 million (US$1=W1,076).
Among those who earn more than W3 million, less than half said economic conditions got worse.
Among self-employed people, who are affected the most by the changing business climate, 64.7 percent said the economy worsened, compared to 54.1 percent of respondents who work in sales, marketing or service industries.
One senior researcher at a state-run economic think tank said, "After looking at the survey results, it's lucky that 33 percent of respondents believe living conditions will improve, which is more than the 25.4 percent who think they will worsen, but the government needs to take a close look at the large number who have negative views about the current economic situation and its policies."
Some 37.7 percent said they are affected by the 16.4-percent hike in the minimum wage that went into effect this year, but only 18.3 percent of them said it is making their lives better while 29.1 percent said it affects them adversely.
Respondents in their 20s and those working in sales, marketing and the service sector had mostly positive views, while negative views were high among respondents in their 50s and the self-employed.
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