March 02, 2016 09:30
The wage gap between big businesses and small and mid-sized companies and between regular and temporary workers has widened despite government promises to reform the labor market.
According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the average monthly wage for regular staff in companies with more than 300 workers was W5.01 million last year, up 3.9 percent on-year (US$1=W1,238).
But workers at small and mid-sized companies with five to 299 staff took home just W3.11 million, up 3.4 percent.
The wage gap widened from W1.42 million in 2008 to W1.9 million last year. The wage in SMEs is only 62 percent that of big companies.
The pay gap between regular and non-regular workers has also widened further. The average monthly pay of regular employees in companies with more than five workers was W3.48 million last year, more than double that of temporary and contract workers (W1.42 million).
According to Statistics Korea, the average monthly income of the top 10 percent income earners increased 68 percent over the past 12 years -- from W5.23 million in 2003 to W8.79 million in 2015, but for the bottom 10 percent only 50 percent from W750,000 to W1.13 million.
The top 10 percentile earned 6.9 times more than the bottom 10 percent in 2004 but eight times more last year.
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