S. Korea sets minimum wage for 2024 at 9,860 won per hour

By Park Sae-jin Posted : July 19, 2023, 14:52 Updated : July 19, 2023, 14:52
SEOUL -- Through 15 sessions of negotiation meetings, South Korea's Minimum Wage Council finally decided to set the minimum wage for next year at 9,860 won ($7.8) per hour, and the minimum monthly wage at 2,060,740 won, up 2.5 percent from 2023's minimum wage of 9,620 won per hour and 2,010,580 won per month.
Through the meetings, labor demanded that the minimum wage should be set above 10,000 won while management claimed that the increase should be frozen or minimized to help small and medium-sized business operators who are heavily affected by inflation.
The Minimum Wage Committee, which consists of eight representatives from the labor sector, nine members from the management sector, and nine from the public sector, put the final proposals -- 10,000 won from labor and 9,860 won from management -- to a vote and 9,860 won received 17 votes, while 10,000 won received eight votes. One vote had abstained.
The decision was made through an overnight meeting and the vote was finished at about 6:00 a.m. (2100 GMT) on July 19. It took 110 days for the Minimum Wage Committee to set next year's minimum wage, which is the longest period in seven years.
The minimum wage in South Korea has been calculated using a formula that takes into account the projected economic growth rate, inflation rate, and employment rate. This year's minimum wage of 9,620 won was calculated as 2.7% + 4.5% - 2.2%, resulting in a 5.0% increase. If the same formula was applied to next year's minimum wage, it would have increased by 4.7% (1.6% + 3.5% - 0.4%) to reach 10,720 won.
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