Minimum wage response to COVID-19 and inflation crises: An Asia-Pacific region overview

This policy brief presents a comprehensive analysis of nominal and real minimum wages in the Asia-Pacific region from 2015 to 2022, taking into account the impact of inflation on the purchasing power of workers. Concentrating on 22 countries with available data, the study reveals a positive trend in real minimum wages before 2020, with an average annual increase of 2.5% between 2015 and 2019. However, commencing in late 2020, real minimum wages experienced a decline due to irregular adjustments and the inflationary consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and regional crises. Addressing this decline is of utmost importance to safeguard the well-being of workers and foster sustainable economic development within the region.