Saturday, March 9, 2013

South Korea: Income Polarization Keeps Growing (A growing problem everywhere)

Income inequality in Korea is getting steadily worse. The numbers of the so-called working poor who earn less than W1 million (US$1=W1,090) a month and of high-wage workers who make more than W5 million a month are both rising rapidly, while the number of median-wage earners stagnates.

Statistics Korea on Wednesday said the total number of wage earners stood at 17.86 million as of the third quarter of last year, up 4.6 percent on-year. But 2.64 million earned less than W1 million a month, up 6.8 percent, while the number of those who made a lower-median W1 million rose just 1 percent.

Lee Joon-hyup of the Hyundai Research Institute said, "We need to check if employers who used to pay their staff more than W1 million a month are now paying them less."