By Lee Sun-young
Korean workers saw their salaries rise by an average of 5.2 percent this year, slightly higher than a year earlier, government data showed Wednesday.
According to the Labor Ministry, this year’s average is 0.6 percentage point higher than in 2010, when the figure stood at 4.6 percent.
Inflation seems to have factored into workers’ paychecks, ministry officials explained.
Consumer prices in Korea went up 4.3 percent in the first six months of the year, the third fastest rise among 32 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
So far this year, wage negotiations have been completed at 43 percent of the workplaces with 100 employees or more. The figure almost doubled from a year earlier, when only 22.5 percent of them have finished talks on pay raise.
The ministry attributed the sharp increase in negotiation completion to new labor union rules which came into effect in July this year.
Both management and labor unions seemed to have wanted the wage negotiation process to be over before a ban on multiple trade unions at a single workplace was lifted under the new rules, it said.
By industry, the pay hike was the steepest in publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications and information services at 6.3 percent. Manufacturing jobs reported an average hike of 5.8 percent.