Public Career Nets W800 Million More Than SME Job for Life

  • By Jeon Soo-yong

    November 25, 2017 08:11

    Public servants end up making up to W800 million more than staff of small and mid-sized companies over the course of their career, according to a study (US$1=W1,087).

    The study showed that a growing number of young Koreans are seeking to become civil servants not only because of job security but also because of the pay.

    Published by the Korea Economic Research Institute on Sunday, it shows that public servants who starts at entry or mid-level positions earn W1.5 billion until retirement, W780.6 million more than individuals who work for SMEs that employ fewer than 50 staff.

    They also made W487 million more than people who work for companies with 300 to 999 workers, but W68.75 million less than staff of big companies with more than 1,000 workers. That means public servants earn more than most Korean workers except for those employed by major conglomerates.

    KERI said this phenomenon results from improving working conditions for public servants, including seniority-based pay, over-generous pay rises, and later retirement age.

    The salaries of public servants have risen seven percent on average compared to 6.2 percent at major companies, and their retirement age is 56-59 whereas at big businesses it is just 52.

    KERI said the study confirms that public-sector jobs are naturally more sought after not only due to job stability but also due to pay. It urged the government to rectify the pay scale, which has been set unrealistically high compared to the private sector, to "achieve a rational distribution of workers."

    Yoon Sang-ho at KERI said, "The competition ratio for civil service jobs is a whopping 1 to 10. Becoming a public servant can lead to a higher income, but those who fail can end up losing potential income over the course of their careers."

    KERI based its analysis on jobs landed by university graduates from 2007 to 2014 from Korea Employment Information Service data.

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