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Korea Pushes Through 5% Minimum Pay Gain Amid Inflation Pain

  • Business side abstains while some labor negotiators leave
  • Minimum wage to remain under symbolic level of 10,000 won
Vegetables for sale at a supermarket in Seoul.

Vegetables for sale at a supermarket in Seoul.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Updated on

South Korea will bump up its minimum wage by 5% next year after government-appointed officials were left to make a decision closely watched by company executives, labor leaders and also policy makers concerned about the possible emergence of a wage-price spiral.

The move came early Thursday morning after a vote in which all nine business representatives abstained, according to a statement from the labor ministry. Four negotiators from a labor union also skipped the vote, the ministry said.