South Korea's minimum hourly wage for 2021 has been set at 8-thousand 720 won, which is around seven U.S. dollars and 25 cents.
That's the smallest-ever on-year increase in South Korea's history.
Just one.five percent.
Monday's decision came during the ninth plenary meeting of the Minimum Wage Commission, which consists of nine members each from three sides representing employers, employees and those representing social interests.
The increase is the smallest since the minimum wage was first introduced in South Korea in 1988.
The minimum wage last year also rose by a record low of two.nine percent.
The low rise is largely due to the economic fallout and uncertainties triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision also considered local SMEs and small business owners hit hard by the crisis.
"We believe employers, employees and those representing society's interests did their best at pooling their wisdom to overcome the emergency situation."
This year's negotiations were especially grueling because there was a huge gap in the proposals put forward by employees and employers.
Employees wanted a 16.four percent increase to 10-thousand won, while employers sought a two.one percent cut to 8-thousand 410 won.
The commission will present the new minimum wage to the labor minister, and the minister must make an official announcement by August 5th.
If approved, the new minimum wage will take effect on January 1st, 2021.
However, the minister can ask the commission to reconsider, but that situation has never happened before.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.