Middle Class Fear for Their Livelihoods

      August 10, 2011 13:58

      Korea's middle class is dwindling, according to figures from Statistics Korea on Tuesday. The proportion peaked at 76.3 percent in 1992 but dropped to 67.5 percent last year. Some 9.23 million households are in danger of dropping out of the middle-class bracket.

      Fewer middle-class people can afford to save up for their retirement because they are groaning under high housing prices and high costs for their children's private education. They also fear for their jobs as regular employment gives way to part-time jobs and limited contracts. Young people see their chances of joining the middle class dwindle.

      Meanwhile, white-collar workers in their 30s and 40s are dissatisfied with their economic situation, according to a recent survey of 700 people nationwide conducted by Media Research for the Chosun Ilbo.

      A whopping 85-90 percent of people in their 30s and 40s said their personal situation has not improved in proportion to economic growth. Most of them attributed their dissatisfaction to the widening income gap.

      More than half of respondents attached greater importance to equal distribution than to growth.

      Some 72.7 percent of white-collar workers called for more equal income distribution, as against 59.1 percent of blue-collar workers and 51.8 percent of self-employed businessmen.

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