N.Korean Defectors Still Earn Less Than Born S.Koreans

      August 01, 2016 11:54

      North Korean defectors earn only about two thirds of what ordinary South Koreans make.

      According to the National Assembly Budget Office on Sunday, the average monthly salary of North Korean defectors was W1.54 million last year, just 67 percent of the W2.29 million on average South Korean workers made (US$1=W1,124).

      The so-called economic participation rate of North Korean defectors rose from 56.5 percent to 59.4 percent from 2011 to 2015 and unemployment fell from 12.1 percent to 4.8 percent.

      But 20 percent were day laborers, compared to just six percent among South Koreans, and only 50.3 percent were employed full time after their five-year period of government support ends.

      The longer they have lived in the South, the more unstable their job status becomes, leading to worsening living conditions, the office said.

      Even among defectors, a big wage gap exists between men and women. In 2014, 10.3 percent of male but 28.9 percent of female defectors made less than W1 million a month.

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