S.Korean conglomerate workers earn more than Japanese: Report

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Seoul, March 17 (IANS) The average wage of South Korean workers at conglomerates surpassed that of Japanese workers for the first time in 2022, according to a report on Sunday.

The report by the Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) revealed that in 2022, employees at South Korea’s big companies earned 5.88 million won ($4,417) on a monthly average, up 157.6 per cent from 2.28 million won recorded 20 years ago, Yonhap news agency said.

In 2022, the amount was higher than the average monthly wage of Japanese workers at conglomerates at 4.43 million won, which was down 6.8 percent from 4.84 million won in 2002.

In 2002, the situation was the opposite, with the average monthly wage of Japanese workers at large companies at 4.84 million won, much higher than the 2.28 million won earned by South Korean workers.

The report also showed that the average monthly wage of South Korean workers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was 3.4 million won in 2022, slightly higher than that of Japanese SME workers at 3.32 million won, and vice- versa from the situation two decades ago.

The average monthly wage of Korean workers at companies with 10 or more employees came to 4 million won in 2022, also outstripping the 3.79 million won earned by Japanese workers.

The wage of South Korean workers increased overall, unlike that of Japanese workers, but the wage gap between big companies and SMEs sharply widened in Seoul, while it lessened in Tokyo, the report said.

In 2022, Korean SME workers earned 57.7 per cent of what conglomerate workers did, while Japanese SME workers received 73.7 per cent of the wages of workers at big companies, according to KEF.



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