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Minimum wage
in South Korea.

SALARY PAYMENT IN South Korean Won (KRW, ₩)


PAYROLL TAX 16.43% – 34.94%


TIME TO HIRE 24 hours

What is the minimum wage in South Korea per hour?

In 2023 the minimum hourly wage in South Korea is KRW 9,620. 

Are there regional variations in South Korea minimum wage?

No. South Korea’s minimum wage applies to all industries across the country at large. 

South Korea’s Minimum Wage Commission is made up of representatives from employee groups, private sector employers and the public sector in order to give voices to each key stakeholder group. 

How has minimum wage in South Korea changed in the last 5 years and beyond?

The minimum wage in South Korea has increased from KRW 7,530 in 2018 to KRW 9,620 per hour in 2023. 

Although South Korea’s minimum wage has increased in the 5 years between 2018 and 2023, the rate of on-year increase has fluctuated, and primarily follows a downward trend. 

In 2017/18, the on-year increase was 16.4%, falling to 10.9% in 2018/19, then 2.9% in 2019/20 and 1.5% in 2020/21. In 2021/22 the on-year increase rose to 5.1% where it has remained in 2023. 

DateMin. wage, hourly  rate (KRW)

How does the minimum wage in South Korea compare to surrounding countries?

In comparison to the surrounding countries, South Korea’s hourly minimum wage is slightly higher than Japan’s and considerably higher than China’s hourly minimum wage:

  • South Korea: KRW 9,620 ≈$7.29
  • Japan: JPY 931 ≈$6.81
  • China (Beijing): CNY 25.3 ≈$3.63


Is there a different minimum wage for expats in South Korea?

No. South Korea’s Minimum Wage Act (1986) applies to all businesses, regardless of industry. 

Furthermore, the minimum wage applies to all employees, as defined by the Labor Standards Act (1997), regardless of nationality or status i.e. part-time, temporary or foreign workers.

Hiring in South Korea, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in South Korea without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


The average salary in South Korea is KRW 47,145,828 per year. The minimum wage in South Korea is estimated by the Korean government as KRW 24,126,960 per year, assuming regular working hours.

It is highly unlikely that skilled employees will accept a salary that is close to South Korea’s minimum wage. This is especially true in larger cities, such as Seoul, Busan or Incheon.

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