Income Disparity Worsens Among Salaried Workers

  • By Kim Ji-seop

    October 07, 2019 12:03

    The salaries of around 18,000 workers who constitute the top 0.1 percent of the income bracket equals the earnings of 3.24 million workers in the lowest bracket.

    According to National Tax Service data on Sunday, the 18,005 salaried workers in the top 0.1 percent earned W809 million each on average in 2017, or W67.4 million a month (US$1=W1,197).

    Their total annual salaries stood at W14.6 trillion, roughly the same as those of 3.25 million people in the bottom 17 percent, which was W15.5 trillion.

    Their income was also 31.4 times higher than the median income of salaried workers (W25.7 million). In other words, the top 0.1 percent make in a year what people in the middle income bracket need to save up for more than 31 years without spending.

    The average per-capita salary was W35.19 million.

    In the top 10 percent, 1.8 million workers made W203 trillion in 2017, accounting for 32 percent of the total earnings. But the bottom 10 percent accounted for a mere 0.7 percent with their combined income of W4.4 trillion.

    The combined yearly salaries of the top one percent amounted to W47.6 trillion, which translated into W264 million per person. But the average per-capita income of the bottom 22 percent was only W6.28 million a year. 

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