Korea's Wage Gap Much Bigger Than Japan's

  • By Oh Rora

    April 22, 2019 13:00

    The wage gap between big and small businesses is much wider in Korea than in Japan.

    The average monthly salary in Korea's big conglomerates is a whopping 1.5 times as high as in Japan's, but workers in small businesses here are paid 20 to 30 percent less than they would in the island country.

    The Korea Small Business Institute in a report Sunday said the average monthly salary in Korean companies employing over 500 workers stood at W5.35 million a month as of 2017, compared to W3.46 million in their Japanese counterparts (US$1=W1,137).

    Wages in big Korean businesses also rose much faster than in Japan. Their per-capita monthly wage here rose 19.9 percent from 2012 to 2017, while in Japan they inched up just 1.3 percent.

    In small businesses, the situation is just the opposite. A worker in a business in Korea with one to four staff earned W1.75 million a month on average, compared to W2.27 million in Japan.

    The wage gap between big and small businesses in Korea was around W3.6 million a month, up to three times higher than the gap in Japan.

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