South Korea’s wage divide between sectors widens

Workers in internet service firms saw their pay rising in the first half of 2021, while those in the travel sector experienced a slump.
By: | November 2, 2021

South Korea’s wage divide has widened in the first half of the year amid the pandemic, with the pay of workers at internet service firms rising and those in tour agencies falling, according to a report by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI).

In the first half of 2021, employees at internet service companies received an average of 37.94 million won (US$32,237), up from 28.83 million won (US$24,496) over the same period two years ago, based on data collected from 1,340 companies listed on the local stock market.

This is in contrast to employees in travel agencies and airlines, with monthly wages facing a decline. 

Salaries in the first half of 2021 in these sectors registered an average of 12.34 million won (US$10,485), down from 20.08 million won (US$17,061) the same period two years ago.

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“[In the] industrial sector, wage divide has been deepening after the outbreak of COVID-19 pounded the local industry, so that the government subsidy for COVID-19-hit companies should continue to help put them back on track,” said KERI.