Minimum-wage hike could pull workers into security guard jobs

April 21, 2015 11:26
Some companies face difficulty in recruiting workers, who prefer easier jobs at minimum wage. Photo: HKEJ

The upcoming increase in the minimum wage is expected to lure more workers out of the food and beverage sector into jobs as security guards, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

Lau Kin-wai, owner of Cantonese restaurant Kin's Kitchen, said despite a higher monthly pay of about HK$13,000 (US$1,677), a few people leave the firm each month.

Many other easier jobs, such as that of security guard, have stolen workers from the food and beverage sector, especially after the minimum wage rose to HK$30 an hour in 2013, Lau said. 

He estimated there are up to 10,000 vacancies in his sector.

The market rate for a dish washer is between HK$50 and HK$60 per hour.

Yet, such a job advertised at HK$80 per hour has often had no takers, and employers have had to pay up to HK$100 per hour to fill the vacancy.

Retail sales is another sector that has been losing workers to positions as security guards.

A monthly wage of HK$7,000 to HK$8,000 is not enough to hire a salesperson, the owner of a chain store selling health foods said.

Hong Kong is raising the minimum wage to HK$32.50 per hour from May 1.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version中文版]

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