The Minimum Wage Commission said on Friday that it expects 75,000 workers to benefit from a HK$3 rise in the minimum wage, which is expected to kick in from May 1.
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The commission also estimates that the new HK$37.50 rate will increase the total wage bill in the city by around HK$930 million. The panel said this is assuming an economic growth of 2.5 to 3.5 percent in the first half of this year.
But because of Hong Kong's low unemployment rate, the commission does not expect the job market to worsen significantly. The new minimum wage could drive up the jobless rate by about 0.1 to 0.3 percentage points, it said.
The head of the commission, Priscilla Wong, said she is happy to see low income workers benefit from the rise, as the increase is higher than the inflation rate.
The new minimum wage has been endorsed by the Executive Council and will now go to Legco on January 23 for lawmakers' approval.
Legislator Michael Tien, who is a businessman himself, said he accepts such increases in the minimum wage they are reasonable. This is the case in this instance, he said.
But Alice Mak of the Federation of Trade Unions, said the increase is not enough to help low-income workers.