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KLI Employment & Labor Brief No. 89 (2019-04): 2018 Wage Trends and Wage Outlook for 2019
KLI Employment & Labor Brief No. 89 (2019-04): 2018 Wage Trends and Wage Outlook for 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    1. Large Growth in Both Nominal and Real Wages in 2018

    2. Wage Trends in 2018

    3. Relative Wage Level of Different Types of Workers

    4. Wage Outlook for 2019

    Summary

    Despite the slowdown in the economy and employment, wage growth in 2018 increased by 2.0%p year-on-year to 5.3%. While the wage for non-permanent workers rose in the range of 5%, similar to the previous year, the wage for permanent workers rose by 2.5%p attributable to a large increase in regular payments (1.0%p) and special cash payments (10.7%p). Such an increase was possible due to the minimum wage hike and the expansion in the special cash payments at large corporations. In 2019, the economic recovery signals are unclear; the profitability of large firms is likely to be lower than the previous year; and the 52-hour cap on weekly working hours is likely to decrease wages by limiting overtime work. On the other hand, the double-digit increase of minimum wage (10.9%) and the expansion of the job stability fund will continue to serve as factors to increase wages as they did in 2018. Given all of these factors, wage growth in 2019 is forecasted to be at the 4.1% level, down from 5.3% in 2018.