Income disparity among professionals is growing.
According to National Tax Service statistics obtained by Minjoo Party lawmaker Park Gwang-on on Sunday, some 14 percent of professionals earn less than W2 million a month (US$1=W1,133).
Of 35,108 professionals including accountants, lawyers and patent attorneys who reported their earnings last year, 5,032 or 14.3 percent made less than W2 million a month, up from 4,423 in 2012.
Among them, architects formed the biggest group, at 46.3 percent, followed by lawyers (17.7 percent), legal professionals (14.9 percent), tax accountants (13.6 percent) and certified public accountants (2.5 percent). They reported lower earnings because a whopping 76 percent of them had either just opened or closed their own businesses amid fierce competition in an oversaturated market.
There were 35,108 self-employed professionals last year, up 19.6 percent from 29,343 in 2012. The average annual wage of professionals was W230.8 million. Patent attorneys ranked at the top with W600 million a year, followed by lawyers (W412 million) and certified public accountants (W325 million).