Four out of 10 Korean workers saw salary frozen or cut this year

2019.03.13 14:50:56 | 2019.03.13 14:51:15

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About four out of 10 Korean salaried earners eligible for salary negotiations with their employers this year had their payroll cut or frozen, a survey showed Wednesday.

According to a poll conducted by local job portal Incruit, 60 percent of total 1,303 respondents said their annual salary was raised after negotiation, while 38 percent said it remained unchanged and 2 percent said it was cut.

For those who got a raise, their annual pay rose by around 4 percent or 1.37 million won ($1,210) on average after negotiation, from 34.20 million won to 35.57 million won, the survey found.

The survey results reflected that companies are feeling financial pinch more severely than last year, according to Incruit, because a 2018 poll found 80.1 percent of 639 respondents saw their pay raised after negotiation, 16.2 percent unchanged and 3.7 percent cut. The pay increase rate was 8.9 percent, more than doubling from this year’s 4 percent raise.

The poll also found that 66 percent of the respondents said they want or consider moving to different firms regardless of the outcome of salary negotiation. More than 70 percent respondents working for mid-sized companies said they are willing to change jobs, followed by 66.3 percent of small- to mid-sized firm employees and 59.2 percent of large company workers. For those who have been working for the same company for more than seven years and less than nine years, 68 percent said they wish to make a career change, while 67.7 percent of respondents with work experience of one to three years and 66.8 percent with four to six years consider working for different companies.

Among the respondents who have their salary cut, 75 percent expressed willingness to change jobs. About seven out of 10 respondents whose pay stays the same and six out of 10 who got a pay raise said they want to move to other firms.

By Chun Gyung-woon and Choi Mira

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