最低賃金上げ 中小企業の体力強化が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Small, midsize companies must be helped amid minimum wage hikes
最低賃金上げ 中小企業の体力強化が重要だ

Increasing minimum wages is of key importance to shoring up consumer spending and materializing stable economic growth.
 賃金の底上げは、消費を下支えし、安定した経済成長を実現するためにも重要である。

A Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry panel — the Central Minimum Wages Council — has decided on a bellwether for minimum hourly wages for fiscal 2015, calling for minimum wages to be raised by a national average of ¥18. This is the steepest increase since fiscal 2002, when the government started indicating a bellwether minimum hourly wage.
 厚生労働省の中央最低賃金審議会が、2015年度の最低賃金(時給)について、全国平均で18円引き上げるという目安を決定した。目安を時給で示すようになった02年度以降で、最大の上げ幅だ。

Using the bellwether as a reference, respective prefectural government councils will set increases in minimum wages based on the circumstances of their regional economies.
 目安を参考に、各都道府県の審議会が地域の実情を踏まえて、それぞれの引き上げ額を決める。

Minimum wages are applied to all workers in all fields of businesses in each prefecture, and it is illegal to pay less than the minimum.
 最低賃金は、すべての労働者に適用される。この金額を下回る賃金は違法となる。

If minimum wages are raised in line with the bellwether, the national average will stand at ¥798 per hour. Full-time employees working for the minimum wage would take home about ¥130,000, up around ¥3,000 from the previous year.
 目安通りになれば、最低賃金は全国平均で798円になる。フルタイムで働いた場合の月収は約13万円で、前年より3000円程度増える計算だ。

Mainly because of an increasing number of nonregular workers, approximately 1.9 million people now work for minimum wage. If materialized, the recommended minimum wage hike would directly improve such people’s working conditions. This is of considerable significance.
 非正規労働者の増加を背景に、最低賃金で働く人は190万人に上る。引き上げは、こうした人たちの処遇改善に直結する。その意義は小さくない。

In this spring’s annual shunto pay raise negotiations between labor unions and employers, many companies — especially big ones that saw their business results improve — granted large pay hikes. But such pay raises have yet to spread to small and midsize enterprises and nonregular workers.
 今春闘では、好業績の大企業を中心に大幅賃上げが相次いだ。だが、中小・零細企業や非正規労働者への波及は遅れている。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed a strong intention to realize a sharp increase in minimum wages, instructing his Cabinet members in charge of economic affairs to proactively press the issue. It was apparently aimed at spreading the trend toward higher wages to a wide spectrum of employees to ensure the effects of his Abenomics economic policy permeate.
 安倍首相は、最低賃金の大幅アップに強い意欲を示し、関係閣僚に前向きな取り組みを指示していた。賃上げの流れを幅広い層に広げ、経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果を浸透させる狙いだろう。

Regional gaps must be fixed

But it remains a question whether small and midsize companies, the business environment of which has remained stringent, can afford large pay raises. Many such companies have been plagued with ballooning raw-material costs and related expenditures because of the yen’s weakening.
 問題は、厳しい経営状況にある中小・零細企業が、大幅な引き上げに対応できるかどうかだ。円安による原材料費などの高騰に苦しんでいる企業は多い。

Will some companies find themselves unable to afford rises in personnel costs due to higher minimum wages and therefore cut their payrolls? The government should be vigilant in this respect.
 最低賃金引き上げによる人件費の増加に耐えられず、雇用の縮小に動く企業はないか。政府はきちんと目配りする必要がある。

It is important to craft an environment in which businesses feel comfortable about raising wages.
 企業が無理なく賃上げを続けられる環境の整備が大切だ。

To this end, it is essential to strengthen the management of small and midsize enterprises. Government assistance for such projects as investment in plants and equipment that would enhance productivity should be further expanded.
 中小企業の経営体力を強化することが欠かせない。生産性アップに役立つ設備投資などへの政策支援を拡充したい。

It is also important to extend support for job skills training for employees to enable them to find jobs with more favorable working conditions. In this connection, job training programs should be enhanced.
 労働者の技能向上を後押しして、より好条件の仕事に就けるようにすることも有効だろう。職業訓練の充実が求められる。

One problem is that regional disparities in minimum wages have been widening.
 気がかりなのは、最低賃金の地域格差が拡大していることだ。

According to the council’s bellwether for minimum hourly wages, Tokyo tops the list of minimum wages with ¥907. But in seven prefectures, including Okinawa and Tottori, the minimum wage is ¥693. The difference between the highest and lowest minimum wages stands at ¥214, an increase by ¥3 from fiscal 2014. The gap is more than twice that in fiscal 2002.
 目安では、最高の東京都907円に対し、最低の鳥取、沖縄など7県は693円にとどまる。その差は昨年度比3円増の214円となった。02年度の2倍超だ。

A continuation in the outflow of workers from regions with low pay into major urban areas could jeopardize the government’s goal of vitalizing regional economies.
 低賃金の地方から都市部への人口流出が続けば、地方創生も望めない。

Efforts in both the private and public sectors must be redoubled to rectify the regional minimum wage disparities by creating jobs attractive to people in nonmetropolitan regions.
地方に魅力ある雇用を生み出し、格差を是正するため、官民で大いに知恵を絞りたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2015)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2015-08-03 11:11 | 英字新聞

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