South Korea

South Korea Raise Minimum Wage by 10.9%

South Korea Raise Minimum Wage

SEOUL: South Korea raise minimum wage by 10.9% for the next year has been set at 8,350 won ($7.37) per hour, officials decided on Saturday.

South Korea’s business groups and the country’s umbrella labor union expressed disappointment after the government said on Saturday it would raise minimum wages by 10.9 percent for 2019.


The Minimum Wage Commission announced after the long 19 hours meeting all overnight. The council comprised of representatives from labor, management, and the general public.

According to the official Korean source, NepSort has learned that; among 27 members, 9 representing the management community boycotted the meeting. 5 members representing the labor community and 9 members from the general public side attended the meeting to vote for the minimum wage for 2019.

Despite the absence of management members in the council meeting, minimum wage proposals from the labor side — 8,680 won and the general public group — 8,350 won were put up for a vote. The latter earned 8 votes and was chosen as the minimum wage for 2019.

All labors in South Korea including the foreign workers through EPS will directly be benefited from this huge increase in salary from 2019.



A lobby group representing small business owners called the wage increase a “unilateral decision” and said it would impose a “moratorium” on its implementation.

“We can’t accept the decision by the Minimum Wage Commission,” the Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise said in a statement.

“Small-business owners are at a crossroads where they cannot help but choose either business shutdowns or staff cuts,” the association said, adding that they were facing a “miserable reality.”

According to the source, both labor and business communities were not satisfied with this decision. The representatives for labor have demanded a 43 percent increase to 10,790 won, while those from the business side have called for a freeze.

There will be a 20-day objection period for both labor and management before 5th August. Once it is approved by The Ministry of Employment and Labor, which oversees the council; it will officially take effect from Jan. 1, 2019.

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