Statistics Korea announced on Nov. 4 that regular workers in Korea received an average monthly salary of 2.696 million won (US$2,370) between June and August this year, when the average monthly salary of temporary workers in the country was 1.467 million won (US$1,290).
The gap increased by 78,000 won (US$69) from a year ago, signaling that wage polarization in the country is becoming more and more noticeable.
The gap is unlikely to be narrowed for the time being. During the last three months, the regular workers’ wage increased by 3.5 percent, or 92,000 won (US$81), while that of the others edged up by only 1 percent, or 14,000 won (US$12).
The number of temporary workers totaled 6.271 million as of the end of August, increasing by 3.2 percent or 194,000 from a year ago. The ratio of the temps to paid workers edged up by 0.1 percentage points to 32.5 percent. The ratio had been 34.2 percent in 2011, 33.3 percent in 2012 and 32.6 percent in 2013.