S. Korean workers see their wage drop for first time in 6 yrs in 2015

SEJONG--South Korean workers saw their hourly wage backtrack in 2015 for the first time in six years and households reduced their consumption amid an economic slowdown, government data showed Saturday.

A South Korean wage worker was paid an average 13,753 won (US$12.25) per hour in 2015, down 5.7 percent from 14,587 won tallied a year earlier, according to the data by Statistic Korea.

It is the first time that the hourly wage dropped from a year earlier since 2009 when it fell 3.7 percent on-year in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Male workers received 15,766 won per hour, compared with their female colleagues' 10,727 won.

Wage of college graduates stood at 17,201 won per hour in 2015, some 60 percent higher than that of high schoolers with 10,714 won.

In 2015, the gross domestic product of Asia's fourth-largest economy grew 4.9 percent to 1,558.6 trillion won, while its gross national income per capita fell $731 to $27,340.

Consequently, the statistics data showed that South Korean households tightened their belts last year as their wage contracted.

Last year, a family with two members or more spent an average 2.55 million won per month, down 0.5 percent from a year earlier, marking the first drop since 2003 when the statistics office started to compile such data.

Their income including wage and inheritance edged up 0.6 percent on-year to 4.4 million won in 2016.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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