President’s approval falls to 74% over wage dispute

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President’s approval falls to 74% over wage dispute

President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating dropped this week amid local businesses’ worries over a recent decision to raise the minimum wage next year and a political dispute over his personnel choices, a survey showed Friday.

In the weekly survey conducted from Tuesday to Thursday by local pollster Gallup Korea, Moon’s rating was tallied at 74 percent, down 6 percentage points from a week earlier.

Those who disapproved of his job performance made up 16 percent, up 4 percentage points from the previous week, while 10 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer.

Last Saturday, the tripartite commission of government, labor and management agreed to increase the minimum wage to 7,530 won ($6.71) per hour in 2018, up 16.4 percent from the current 6,470 won per hour.

After the agreement, local companies have voiced concerns, saying it could worsen business conditions and hamper job creation. Moon hailed it as a positive move towards “people-oriented growth and the right to live as humans.”

In the latest survey, 55 percent of the respondents said the wage hike decision is “reasonable,” while 23 percent called it “high” and 16 percent “low.” Also in the poll, 45 percent said the hike will have a positive effect on the country’s economy, while 28 percent said its impact will be negative.

The survey put support for the ruling Democratic Party at 46 percent, down 3 percentage points.

The rating for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party was at 11 percent, while the Bareun Party and Justice Party garnered 8 percent each. The People’s Party came in fifth with 5 percent.

The survey was conducted on 1,012 adults across the country, and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level. Yonhap
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