Hong Kong’s Experience in Implementing a Statutory Minimum Wage
Institution(s): Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, The Hong Kong Centre for Economic Research
Date: Jan 29, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 01:00 pm - 02:00 pm
Venue: Room 1121, K.K. Leung Building, HKU
The statutory minimum wage (SMW) has been implemented in Hong Kong since 1 May 2011, with the prevailing SMW rate at HK$32.5 per hour after two upward adjustments since implementation. Despite economists’ general concern about the potential distortionary impact of a SMW on the labour market, the Hong Kong experience has seen a boost to grassroots workers’ income, an increase in the labour force participation rate and very low unemployment over the past 4-1/2 years, amidst a largely stable macroeconomic environment. The number of social security cases also fell.
In this Seminar, Mr. Desmond Hou, Principal Economist of the HKSAR Government will explain how the SMW regime has been implemented, on the basis of an evidence-based approach, to ensure an appropriate balance between forestalling excessively low wages and minimising the loss of low-paid jobs, whilst sustaining Hong Kong’s economic growth and competitiveness. The impact of the SMW on Hong Kong and how the Minimum Wage Commission took such impact into consideration during reviews of the SMW rate will also be discussed.