Over 10% of Workers Earn Less Than Minimum Wage

  • By Choi Jong-seok

    December 18, 2017 11:58

    The proportion of workers who earn less than the minimum wage jumped from 4.9 percent in 2002 to 13.6 percent last year, according to Statistics Korea on Sunday.

    The minimum wage rose 2.8 times from W2,275 to W6,470 over the same period, largely due to a seven-percent annual hike in the last four years (US$1=W1,090).

    Small businesses with five or fewer employees usually pay workers below minimum wage as they struggle to meet the government target.

    Most of those who earn less than minimum wage are women and temporary workers. A whopping 19.4 percent of female workers earned less than minimum wage, twice as many as the nine percent of male workers.

    Also, the figure among temporary workers was 26.9 percent, compared to 7.1 percent among full-time workers. 

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