SEJONG, Apr. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Nonregular workers in South Korea have seen their wages rise nearly 30 percent over the past decade, but the increase has almost been offset by inflation, data showed Sunday.
The gross monthly wages of temporary workers in Asia’s fourth-largest economy stood at 1.51 million won (US$1,410) as of the end of June 2017, up nearly 28 percent from the amount 10 years earlier.
However, South Korea’s consumer inflation has increased at a nearly similar rate over the cited 10-year period, eating into irregular workers’ purchasing power.
The country’s consumer prices rose 25.2 percent in 2017 from 10 years ago, resulting in no significant rise in their inflation-adjusted wages.
“Temporary workers’ nominal wages have risen over the past decade, but there have been little change in their real pay in light of the consumer inflation rate,” said Sung Tae-yoon, an economics professor at Yonsei University in Seoul.
In contrast, the monthly wages of regular workers in South Korea spiked 38.1 percent over the cited period, well above the inflation rate.
The data showed nonregular employees worked 125.1 hours per month, compared with 183.1 hours for regular workers.
As of August last year, the number of temporary workers in South Korea totaled 6.58 million.