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Korean workers' salary ranks low among OECD nations

The average salary of South Korean workers ranked mid to low among major economies last year with its growth rate over the past six years also hovering below their median, a report said Wednesday.

According to the report from Rep. Park Kwang-on of the ruling Democratic Party, South Korean wage workers earned an average $29,125 in 2016, the 23rd highest among the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, excluding Turkey.

Switzerland topped the list with an average annual salary of $85,718, followed by Iceland with $73,609, the United States with $60,154 and Australia with $59,538.


The average growth rate of South Korean workers' salary was also much lower than the OECD average between 2010-16.

Last year's annual salary of South Korean workers rose 3.87 percent from six years earlier, compared with the OECD median of 5.39 percent during the cited period.

The lawmaker said that despite its economic size, South Korean workers' salary is relatively lower than major economies as some conglomerates account for a big share of the economy.

"Large companies are growing, but household income is falling due to the wage gap (between big and smaller firms)," Park said. "Concerted efforts should be made to bridge the gap so that the fruits of economic growth may be distributed equally."

South Korea's gross domestic product reached $1.41 trillion last year, ranking eighth among the OECD nations, with its per capita GDP placing 22nd at $27,539. (Yonhap)

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