UPDATE : 2019.7.24 WED 10:22
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Adjusted wages of S. Korean big biz workers much higher than U.S., Japan: report

The average adjusted monthly wage for workers at South Korea's big businesses far exceeds those of their U.S. and Japanese counterparts, although South Korea's per capita GDP is much lower than the two advanced economies, a report showed Wednesday.

The average South Korean employee at companies with more than 500 workers earned US$6,048 per month last year when adjusted by the purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the report written by the Korea Small Business Institute.

The comparable figures were $4,618 for the U.S in 2014 and $3,982 for Japan in 2015.

South Korea ranked 29th in the per capita gross domestic product worldwide with $27,633 last year, compared with the U.S. and Japan standing at $57,294 and $37,304, respectively, last year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The PPP-adjusted wage for South Korean workers at big businesses was 115 percent of U.S. workers in 2010, and the figure rose to 131.6 percent in 2014.

The ratio of the South Korean wage to Japan also surged 20.7 percent to 154.5 percent in 2015 from 115.4 percent in 2010.

In contrast, South Korean workers at small companies with fewer than four employees earned much less than their counterparts in the U.S. and Japan.

The PPP-adjusted average monthly wage for South Korean workers at companies with four employees or less was $1,894 last year compared with $3,532 for the U.S. in 2014 and $2,497 for Japan in 2015.

The figures translate into South Korean workers at such workplaces earning 53.6 percent and 75.9 percent of the wages made by their counterparts in the U.S. and Japan, respectively.

The report urged the government to introduce incentives to big businesses so they can spend more on wages and welfare expenses for the workers at their subcontractors to address the income disparity.

"The government also needs to come up with drastic measures to support small and medium-sized companies that share business profits made by enhanced productivity and cost savings with their employees," the report said.

A file photo of a job fair in Daegu on June 29, 2017 (Yonhap)

Hwi Won  edt@koreapost.com

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