South Korea’s wages lag behind OECD average
South Korea’s wages continued to fall behind its OECD members, despite hikes of its minimum wage rate since 2018.
Retaining its 19th spot among 35 countries, the annual wage for employees in South Korea posted US$41,960 on average in 2020, compared to the OECD average of US$49,165. Of its total 37 member countries, the study excludes Columbia and Turkey.
On a monthly basis, South Korea’s minimum wage rose by 32.5% in three years, from 1.35 million won (US$1,160) in 2017 to 1.79 million won (US$1,540) in 2020. In the same year, the annual minimum wage posted 21.54 million won (US$18,533) for regular jobs.
As of July, South Korea’s de facto jobless count, which includes the underemployed and unemployed, amounted to 3.86 million people, while the de facto unemployment rate recorded 12.7%, according to Statistics Korea. Meanwhile, the de facto unemployment rate for workers aged 15 to 29 hit 22.7%.
In the OECD study, Australia ranked ninth, at US$55,206, and New Zealand ranked 18th, at US$45,269. Japan ranked 22nd, at US$38,515.