The average salary for workers in South Korea was 34 million won ($29,790) last year, with those in the top 10 percent bracket receiving almost double or more than the average amount, a local report showed Wednesday.
According to a report by Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) based on statistics from the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the average annual wage of workers in Asia’s fourth largest economy stood at 33.87 million won in 2016, up 3.3 percent, or 1.07 million won, from 32.81 million won in the previous year. The finding is based on a study of annual salary of 1,544 workers.
The median wage, which stands at the very middle of the whole wage level from the highest to lowest, was 26.23 million won in annual salary, with the top 10 percent group receiving 66.07 million won or more and the top 20 percent group earning minimum 47.89 million won, according to the finding.
By group, workers in the top 10 percent bracket received an average annual wage of 95.86 million won while those below received 55.87 million won. Workers belonging to the top 20 to 30 percent bracket received 42.37 million won, while 34.39 million won for those in between 30 and 40 percent bracket, 28.64 million won in the 40-50 percent bracket, 24.18 million won in the 50-60 percent bracket, 20.04 million won in the 60-70 percent bracket, 17.04 million won in the 70-80 percent bracket, 13.32 million won in the 80-90 percent bracket, and 6.33 million won in the 90 to 100 percent bracket.
The report also showed that the annual salary of those in the bottom 10 percent bracket rose by the highest 5.3 percent in 2016 from a year ago while the bottom 20 percent increased 4.6 percent. Their wages have grown at faster rates than the overall average of 3.3 percent growth rate.
Those in the bottom brackets below the median 50 percent will likely see their wages grow faster again next year when the country’s minimum wage is expected to rise 16.4 percent from current 7,530 won per hour. Last month, the tripartite committee representing the government, workers and employers agreed and approved the new government’s proposal to push up the minimum wage by the fastest pace since the country’s wage floor was set in 1988. Starting next year, Korean workers would be paid 1,573,770 won for their monthly labor when working for 209 hours. This would be 221,540 won greater than now.
The KERI study also showed that the average salary of permanent workers at a large conglomerate was 65.21 million won while that of full-time workers at a small and mid-size company was 34.93 million won.
By Na Hyun-joon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]