Persistent male-female wage gap in South Korea

December 24th, 2012 · Economy and Worklife, Women in Korea · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A study has found that in our country last year women’s income was 50% that of men’s. Further, 70% of female workers last year earned less than 20 million won.

On the 23rd Statistics Korea (통계청), the Bank of Korea (한국은행), and the Financial Supervisory Service (금융감독원) released the results of the “2012 Analysis of Household Finances and Welfare”, finding that last year men earned an average of 36.38 million won. Women averaged just under half that, 45.9%, or 16.69 million won. In the study, “regular workers” were considered to be those who spent more time working than looking for work, from among those who worked or looked for work for at least six months out of the year.

With regard to income, female regular employees, who make up the majority of those earning labor income (wage income), earned 23.34 million won, 56.7% less than male regular employees, who earned 42.1 million. The overall female average was higher, but the male-female wage gap (based on 2009) was triple the 15.8% average of the OECD nations as published at the beginning of this month. According to the statistics, the male-female wage gap in our country is 39.8%, the highest among the OECD nations. Female irregular employees had particularly low incomes, averaging 9.75 million won among temporary and daily workers, and made up 58.4% of the total female workforce.

The male-female wage gap becomes clearer when broken down by occupation. The average income of female employees in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries was 2.15 million won, not even one-tenth of the average 23.3 million won among men in those industries. Further, female workers in simple labor and sales positions, which have many irregular workers, averaged 9.34 million and 15.55 million won, respectively. Accordingly, 69.9% of women earned less than 20 million won last year and just 5% earned at least 50 million won. 28.3% of men earned less than 20 million won while 22.7% earned at least 50 million won. 18.3% of women are in poverty, greater than the 14.6% of men.

A social welfare statistician with Statistics Korea said that “of workers with a college degree, 65% are men and 35% are women, while of those who have been working for at least ten years, 68% are men and 32% are women. Further, the male-female wage gap at large and medium-size companies having at least 300 employees was 73% and 27%, respectively, leaving women little opportunity to earn the same income as men.”

No comments

Write a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.