New SME Staff Earn Less and Less

      March 08, 2016 13:14

      The gap in entry-level salaries between major conglomerates and small and mid-sized businesses has widened further this year.

      Jobs search portal Job Korea on Monday said the average entry-level annual salary of the country's top 150 companies is W38.93 million for a university graduate, up a healthy 3.2 percent from last year (US$1=W1,206).

      But the average entry-level wage in SMEs fell 1.4 percent from last year to W24.55 million, and accounts for a mere 63.1 percent of big-company salaries, down from 66 percent last year. 

      Students attend a job fair at Hanyang University in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province on Feb. 25, 2016. /Courtesy of IBK

      The overall average salary in the 301 companies surveyed rose 5.9 percent to W32.28 million, with state-run companies and foreign firms also seeing an annual pay rise to W32.88 million and W32.77 million.

      Automakers paid the fattest salary for new staff at W42.89 million followed by financial companies (W42.25 million) and builders (W41.67 million).

      And the figures do not include bonuses.

      Roh Min-sun at the Korea Small Business Institute said, "There may be many reasons for the widening wage gap, but the main reason is that small businesses are being affected more severely by the ongoing economic recession."

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