Korea's Startling Wage Gap Between Big and Small Firms

      October 20, 2017 08:24

      The average monthly wage in big companies is 30 to 50 percent higher in Korea than in the U.S. and Japan, but in small companies it is much lower.

      The Korea Small Business Institute in a recent report said the average corporate employee in Korea earns US$3,164 a month, compared to the U.S.' $4,089 and Japan's $3,416.

      But in big companies with more than 500 staff, Korean workers earn $6,048, a whopping 52 percent and 31 percent more than their U.S. and Japanese counterparts.

      In small businesses with fewer than four workers, the average monthly salary is just $1,894, about half of the U.S.'

      All figures are based on a purchasing power parity formula.

      The institute attributes the high wages in big Korean firms to the bargaining power of their trade unions. 

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