Most small businesses won't hire more staff
despite shorter hours
The vast majority of small and mid-sized businesses have no
plans to hire more workers despite shorter statutory working hours, a survey
suggests. The finding puts a dampener on government hopes to create more jobs by
shortening Korea's notoriously long and unproductive working hours. The
government claimed shortening the average working week by 6.9 hours would create
between 140,000 to 180,000 new jobs to make up for the loss in output. The Korea
Federation of SMEs surveyed 500 small and mid-sized companies and found that
shortening the work week from 68 to 52 hours would result in a shortage of 6.1
workers. But only 76 of the companies or 15.2 percent said they will hire more
staff. Asked why they do not intend to hire new workers, 63.7 percent of the
rest said it will not be necessary, while 23.6 percent cited increased labor
costs, 5.9 percent said they can deal with the shortfall and five percent said
they would not be able to find workers even if they wanted to.
Jae-won at the Korea Federation of SMEs said, "Most of them are either
considering closing down or moving their manufacturing bases overseas, so they
don't plan to hire more workers." The survey also revealed that the average
monthly salary of workers at small and mid-sized companies will decline from
W2.47 million to W2.2 million when working hours are reduced (US$1=W1,078). Less
than 10 percent of the respondents said they intend to keep their workers' wages
unchanged, and only 2.2 percent said they will compensate staff for the decline
in wages and 7.2 percent said they will make up for some of the decrease. Asked
what help owners want from the government, 57.2 percent cited assistance in
paying wages, and 35.4 percent cited policies to help find new staff.
Illustrate how small businesses not wanting to hire more workers.
2. How can
shortening working hours affect employment?
3. Are you happy with the
shortage of working hours?
4. If you were a business owner, would you hire
5. What other alternatives can the government can do to help
with the employment rate? Vocabulary:
1. vast - of very great extent or quantity; immense