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S. Koreans working second-longest hours among OECD members: data

All Headlines 09:06 August 16, 2017

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has the second-longest average work hours per person, but its wage levels fall under the median among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), data showed Wednesday.

The OECD Employment Outlook 2017, an annual report, said an average South Korean worked 2,069 hours in 2016, which is 305 hours more than the average 1,764 hours of the organization's 35 member countries.

Mexico was the only country that had longer work hours with 2,255. Considering that legal daily work hours are eight hours a day, South Koreans labored 38 more days than their counterparts in other countries.

Despite such conditions, the yearly average real wages for South Korean workers were 75 percent of the OECD average in terms of purchasing power parity. The wages came to US$32,399 for a South Korean worker last year, compared with the OECD average of $42,786.

The per hour real income, which divides actual income by the number of hours worked, for South Koreans was $15.7, about two-thirds of the OECD's average $24.3.

Germany had the shortest work hours at 1,363 hours last year, with an hourly real wage of $34.

This means that South Koreans worked four more months in hours than their German counterparts but received less than half in per hour actual income.

A comparison with Japan, an Asian neighbor known for its laborious job conditions, showed that its average work hours per person was 356 hours fewer than that of South Korea but the hourly real income was $7.2 higher.

U.S. workers worked an average 1,786 hours in 2016 and received $33.7 in real wages per hour.

Luxembourg had the highest real wages per hour at $41.4.
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