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Real income growth outpaced by economic expansion: data

All Headlines 10:23 June 07, 2017

SEJONG, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The growth of real income of South Koreans has risen at a slower pace than that of economic growth over the past five years, government data showed Wednesday.

The average real income of local businesses with at least five employees was 3.39 million (US$3,000) per month last year, up 2.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

It is on par with the country's real gross domestic product (GDP) growth that stood at 2.8 percent last year.

In previous years, however, the country's GDP growth consistently outpaced real income gains as the country on the whole did not do a good job in sharing the fruits of its gains with workers.

The economy expanded a real 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent in 2015 and 2014, respectively, compared with a 2.7 percent gain and a 1.2 percent rise in actual income over the same period. In 2013, economic growth marked 2.9 percent, while real income trailed at 2.5 percent.

Over the past five-year period, the GDP went up 2.82 percent on average, vis-a-vis the 2.46 percent rise in real income growth.

Even worse, the GDP growth averaged 4.18 percent during the 2000-2016 period, but the income increased 2.52 percent.

"Businesses have reaped the benefits of economic growth," said Kim Yoo-sun from the Korea Labor & Society Institute, a Seoul-based think tank. "The growth pace of real income has slowed down to a large extend amid an increase in the number of lower-paid temporary workers."

brk@yna.co.kr
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