Seoul Workers Earn Downtown But Spend in Gangnam

  • By Kim Eun-jung

    April 17, 2019 13:20

    Workers in central Seoul's banking and business districts earn the highest wages in the capital, but the most money is spent in the swish Gangnam district south of the Han River, where many of them live.

    Shinhan Bank analyzed the earnings of around 740,000 salaried workers in Seoul based on their banking transactions and found that the highest average monthly wages were paid in Jung district with a whopping W4.07 million a month (US$1=W1,137). Next were Jongno (W4.03 million) and Yeongdeungpo (W3.93 million). All three are home to major conglomerates and financial institutions.

    Within Jung, the streets with the fattest wages are Hoehyeon-dong 2-ga, home to Korea Investment Corporation and BMW Korea, at W6.52 million, and Taepyeong-ro 2-ga, home to the Bank of Korea and Samsung Card, at W5.69 million.

    But the biggest spenders live in southern Seoul, with W3.3 million spent in Seocho and W3.26 million in Gangnam, followed by Yongsan, northern Seoul at W2.87 million. Seventy percent of the people surveyed traveled during their holidays last year, 38 percent overseas.

    Those who spent their vacation in Korea spent an average W594,000 over four days, while those who traveled abroad spent W1.8 million over six days.

    More than 80 percent said they spent money on useless things to get rid of work-related stress. Men bought alcohol and computer games, while women bought clothes, accessories or snacks, went to the spa and had their hair done. They indulged on average 2.4 times a month and spent W86,000 each time.

    Shinhan also found that 46.9 percent of workers clocked out between 5 and 7 p.m. in the first half of 2017, rising to 49.7 percent in the second half of 2018 because the shorter working week meant less overtime for many.

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