Average annual wage in South Korea 2000-2018

In 2018, the average annual wage in South Korea reached 37,849 U.S. dollars after adjusting for purchasing power parity (PPP). The average salary in South Korea has steadily increased within the given period and the monthly wage was projected to reach around 5.4 thousand U.S. dollars in 2040, the highest value among the leading countries.

Women in the job market

The influence of women on the Korean economy is steadily rising. In 2018, the female employment rate reached its highest level, while the employment rate of the male population declined from the previous year. In Korea, about 70 percent of the male population and about 50 percent of the female population are employed. While the economic activity of women continues to increase, the gender pay gap still exists. On average, female workers earned about 66.6 percent of their male equivalents’ income. The average monthly income in South Korea is around 3.37 million South Korean won for men and about 2.1 million South Korean won for women. The average monthly income difference between men and women was highest among people aged 50 to 59 years old. By age group, men in their 40s and women in their 30s had the highest average earnings.

Work-life balance

Korea was ranked 3rd for the longest working time in the world. Many Korean workers contributed to the successful and rapid economic growth of Korea. At the same time, working hours also increased. In recent years, however, various measures have been put in place for workers, such as the 52-hour weekly work schedule and the flexible working system, to maintain a work-life balance. In fact, the percentage of companies with a flexible working hours system grew to 37.1 percent, an increase of about 15 percent over the past three years. The average monthly working hours of Korean workers has decreased over the past decade; in 2018, Koreans worked an average of 156.4 hours per month. According to a survey, seven out of ten Koreans said they would choose to work for a company where they can have a work-life balance over a higher salary. This tendency was greater, particularly among parents with children.

Average annual wage in South Korea adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity from 2000 to 2018

Average annual wage in U.S. dollars
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Release date

October 2019


South Korea

Survey time period

2000 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Figures are displayed in constant 2018 U.S. dollars adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
The source does not provide an exact publication date. Date given here is the day of data access.

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Statistics on "South Korea"

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