[News Focus] Pay gap for regular, nonregular workers widening

[News Focus] Pay gap for regular, nonregular workers widening
A participant in a job fair in Seoul experiences an experimental interview via virtual reality devices earlier this month. (Yonhap)
SEJONG — Nonregular workers’ pay has risen quite slowly compared to regular workers over the past four years, government data shows.

According to Statistics Korea, the average monthly pay for regular employees reached 3.33 million won ($2,790) this year. This marked a 17 percent increase — or by 485,000 won — from 2.85 million won in 2017.

But the increase in average pay for nonregular employees was 12.7 percent — or 200,000 won — over the corresponding period, from 1.56 million won to 1.76 million won.
 

[News Focus] Pay gap for regular, nonregular workers widening
(Graphic by Kim Sun-young/The Korea Herald)
In Korea, nonregular workers refer to temporary workers, part-timers and others in an underemployed status.

Data showed that the wage gap has continued to widen in recent years, while the proportion of workers in nonregular jobs increased by 5.5 percentage points during the 2017-2021 period.

Further, 88.8 percent of regular workers were national pension policyholders as of this year, while the portion of pension subscribers among nonregular workers stayed at 38.4 percent.

In addition, the percentage of health insurance and employment insurance subscriptions among those in regular job status was 93.6 percent and 90.9 percent, respectively. In contrast, the percentage of policyholders of the corresponding insurances among nonregular employees stood at 50.3 percent and 52.6 percent.

On top of the widening wage disparity and relatively weak social benefits for nonregular jobs, the number and proportion of nonregular employees is also growing.

The number of nonregular employees increased from 6.57 million in 2017 to 8.06 million in 2021, with their portion of total salaried workers climbing from 32.9 percent to 38.4 percent.

Almost half of female workers, or 47.4 percent, were in nonregular positions according to data from this year. It was the highest proportion since South Korea started compiling the data in 2003.

The portion of nonregular jobs among female workers ranged between 39.9 percent and 41.1 percent during the previous Park Geun-hye administration.

The situation was similar for men: The portion of nonregular jobs increased from 26.3 percent to 31 percent in just four years.

“Small businesses have been hiring people in their 20s on nonregular position contracts in the wake of drastic hikes in the statutory minimum wage in 2018 and 2019,” a labor researcher in Seoul said.

He also said that the government has aggressively increased the number of nonregular workers among those in their 60s at state-funded agencies, with them usually working as cleaners.

This sort of policy implementation could suggest that the huge allocation of supplementary budget for job creation during under the Moon Jae-in administration has only created unstable, low-paid jobs for both seniors and young people.

This might have contributed to the overall employment rate. But the nation’s “de facto” jobless rate — the portion of unemployed or underemployed — has remained above 10 percent during President Moon’s term since May 2017.

Though the de facto jobless rate has inched down compared to earlier on in the pandemic, the figure remains relatively high at 11.7 percent, according to the Supplementary Index III for Employment calculated by Statistics Korea.

This indicates that 3.54 million people were unemployed or underemployed in October 2021.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Government to announce vaccine pass plans Monday amid continuing controversy

Visitors to a local department store in Seoul check in with a QR code. (Yonhap)The government is set to announce its latest decision on the vaccine pass mandate Monday, amid ... Read more »

Daily cases over 4,000 for 5th day amid strict curbs ahead of holiday

People wait in line to receive tests at a COVID-19 testing station in Gangneung, 237 kilometers east of Seoul, on Jan. 6, 2022, when the country reported 4,126 new cases. ... Read more »

The days of 3T are over

Health official takes a nasopharyngeal swab from a test seeker at a clinic set up outside Seoul Station on Friday. (Yonhap) When the inevitable omicron explosion descends on South Korea, ... Read more »

Seoul court pauses vaccine pass mandates for minors

The mandate requires people to scan QR codes containing personal information including vaccination status before entering public places. (Yonhap) Seoul court on Friday afternoon has suspended the Ministry of Health ... Read more »

Daily cases over 4,000 for 4th day amid extended virus curbs

This photo, taken Jan. 14, 2022, shows people waiting in line to take COVID-19 tests at a testing site near Seoul Station in Seoul. (Yonhap)South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases stayed ... Read more »

Unfriendly thank-you letter sparks criticism, question about letter-writing campaign to soldiers

Ministry of National Defense (Yonhap)An unfriendly letter that a high school girl wrote to a soldier in the mandatory military service surprised many this week, not only because of the ... Read more »

Public transport expansion, chip development marked Yongin's past three years

The view of SK hynix’ semiconductor complex in Yongin (Yongin City)Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, located about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, has grown into a city of more than 1 million ... Read more »

Yongin mayor pledges to make Yongin environment-friendly, economically self-sufficient city

Baek Kun-ki, the mayor of Yongin, speaks during a press conference in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, in July 2019. (Yongin City)Yongin, a city of 1 million located about 40 kilometers south ... Read more »

Jeju bans trading of tickets to Hallasan

Winterscape of Hallasan on Jeju Island, Dec. 29, 2021 (Park Ji-min)The white peaks of Mount Hallasan on Jeju Island has gained notable popularity this winter, promoting hikers to pay extra ... Read more »

Young politicians wanted: NGO seeks to reshape politics with grassroots initiative

Newways Executive Director Park Hye-min (left) and Communication Manager Gwak Min-hae (Newways)Everyone talks about the March 9 presidential election. But the local elections to be held in June are the ... Read more »

Vice FM tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Minister Jeon Hae-cheol (C) and Defense Minister Suh Wook (L) attend a Cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon tested ... Read more »

‘Omicron is COVID-22,' says Korea's top national hospital doctor

Infectious disease expert Dr. Oh Myoung-don (second from left) told a press conference Wednesday that omicron may spell the beginning of the end of the pandemic. (Yonhap)The omicron variant is ... Read more »

Education Ministry's ‘vaccine cartoon' attacked

Cut from cartoon shared by Education Ministry (Ministry of Education)The Ministry of Education is again drawing fire over sharing cartoons encouraging students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the court ... Read more »

S. Korea approves Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety convenes a panel on Wednesday, to approve an authorization of US-based biotechnology company Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine. (Yonhap)South Korea’s drug safety agency on ... Read more »

Eastar Jet founder gets 6-yr prison term for embezzlement, breach of trust

Lee Sang-jik, an independent lawmaker (Yonhap)JEONJU — The founder of South Korean budget carrier Eastar Jet Co. was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday for embezzlement of company ... Read more »

Gwangju shuts down all HDC construction sites after collapse; 6 remain missing

The Gwangju Metropolitan Government on Wednesday ordered a temporary shutdown on all construction sites in the city run by Hyundai Development Company, after a collapse at the company’s apartment construction ... Read more »

Search for missing workers at Gwangju construction accident site suspended amid safety inspection

Exterior walls of a high-rise apartment building in western Gwangju are seen ripped off on Wednesday. (Yonhap)GWANGJU — A safety inspection was under way Wednesday as authorities weighed when to ... Read more »

SPO orders joint probe of Gwangju building collapse accident

Reinforcing bars are seen sticking out of the facade of a high-rise apartment building under construction in the southwestern city of Gwangju on Wednesday, following its collapse the previous day ... Read more »

Daily infections back above 4,000 in 6 days amid lingering omicron woes

People wait to take coronavirus tests at a pop-up screening clinic in front of Seoul Station on Tuesday. South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases stayed below 4,000 for the fifth consecutive ... Read more »

Over half of S. Koreans support abolishment of gender ministry: poll

(Yonhap)A little over half of South Koreans support the abolishment of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family as proposed by the main opposition party’s presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, a ... Read more »

Moon-established investigative office slammed over possible phone spying

The Corruption Investigation Office of High-ranking Officials was created in January last year to keep the prosecution’s powers in check. (Yonhap) A progressive lawyers’ group Tuesday slammed an anti-corruption investigative ... Read more »

Starbucks embroiled in culture war in Korea

Far-right YouTube channel Hover Lab’s recent livestream focused on the backlash against Starbucks among the left. (YouTube)A new culture war is brewing in South Korea. At the center is Starbucks, ... Read more »

Facade of apartment building under construction collapses, injuring at least 1

The exterior wall of an apartment under construction at a site in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, is seen collapsed on Tuesday. (Yonhap)A facade of a high-rise apartment building ... Read more »

[Newsmaker] Should politicians care about your hair loss?

Anti-hair loss products are on display at a store in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)Last week, the talk of the town was Democratic Party of Korea presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung’s pledge ... Read more »

Assembly passes bill on union representation in public institutions' boards

The National Assembly (Yonhap)The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill that mandates a union representative be included on public institutions’ boards of directors. The lawmakers approved a bill during ... Read more »

Air Force F-5 fighter jet crashes in Hwaseong

(Courtesy of Korean Air Force)An Air Force F-5 fighter jet crashed in central South Korea on Tuesday, officials said. A lone pilot was aboard the jet when it crashed into ... Read more »

Top court confirms W1.1b fine for Volkswagen Korea in emissions scandal

Renault Samsung Motor CEO Park Dong-hoon, former chief of Volkswagen Korea, appears to the prosecution for questioning. (The Investor)The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision to sharply ... Read more »

Top court dismisses Mitsubishi Heavy's 2nd appeal against wartime labor compensation

(Yonhap)The Supreme Court has dismissed a second appeal filed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries against an order to sell patent rights the company has in South Korea to compensate a ... Read more »

Cold weather grips S. Korea

People go to work wearing padded jackets as cold weather grips Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)A cold wave hit South Korea on Tuesday, with temperatures in Seoul dropping to minus 9.3 ... Read more »

In-ground traffic lights installed across Seoul for 'smartphone zombies'

This file photo shows pedestrians walking over in-ground traffic signals. (Yonhap)A growing number of crosswalk traffic signals are finding their way onto the ground in Seoul as a way to ... Read more »

Military reports 17 more COVID-19 cases

A soldier gets a booster shot at an inoculation center in Yongin, 49 kilometers south of Seoul, in this photo released by the Ministry of National Defense on Dec. 15, ... Read more »

Osstem embezzlement suspect's father disappears after leaving apparent suicide note

An Osstem Implant employee surnamed Lee, covered with a thick winter coat, is escorted into the Gangseo Police Station in western Seoul last Thursday, after being arrested on charges of ... Read more »

Parliamentary committee OKs bill on reducing age of eligibility for joining political parties

Parliamentary committee meeting held Monday (Joint Press Corps)A parliamentary committee on Monday approved a bill on lowering the age at which people can join a political party, a move seen ... Read more »

A man sentenced to 25 years in prison for arson that killed three people

The Supreme Court of South Korea in southern Seoul. YonhapA man convicted of killing three people in an arson fire at a motel in Seoul was sentenced to 25 years ... Read more »

Govt. to support corporate hazard management with workplace disaster punishment law to take effect

This computer-generated image, provided by Yonhap News TV, depicts industrial accidents. (Yonhap)SEJONG — The government plans to provide support to companies in preventing and dealing with industrial hazards, as a ... Read more »

Vaccine pass mandate applied to big stores on Monday

Visitors to a local department store in Seoul check in with a QR code. (Yonhap)South Korea‘s vaccine pass mandate, which requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative ... Read more »

Up to 3 cm of snow forecast for Seoul until Tuesday morning

Pedestrians walk along a crossroad in front of Gwanghwamun, a main gate of South Korea’s Gyeongbokgung Palace in central Seoul, on Dec. 18, 2021. (Yonhap)Snow will fall in the capital ... Read more »

Facing omicron wave, Korea begins weighing who to test first

Daegu city officials help move boxes of rapid antigen test kits on Jan. 5. (Yonhap)Facing a wave of the coronavirus omicron variant, South Korea may be forced to test people ... Read more »

Omicron cases in Seoul more than double to 456 from week ago

Citizens wait in line to receive COVID-19 tests at a makeshift clinic in central Seoul last Friday. (Yonhap)The omicron caseload in Seoul has more than doubled to 456 on Monday ... Read more »

Over 1,900 police detectives lose qualification for investigation

 gettyimagesBankOver 1,900 police detectives lost their qualification this year to lead investigations after refusing to be reassigned to new departments, the National Police Agency said Monday. Detectives are reviewed yearly ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic