Debt by Korean salaried workers rise 7.4 on yr in 2018 amid stagnant income and economy

2019.08.12 14:11:57 | 2019.08.12 15:53:53

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The average amount of loans held by South Korean regular salary-earner topped 40 million won ($32,930) last year amid stagnant income and economy in Asia’s fourth largest economy.

According to data released by Statistics Korea on Monday, a salaried worker was indebted 40.76 million won on average as of December 2018, with their median coming to 36.6 million won, increasing 7.4 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively from the previous year.

By age group, salaried workers in their 40s had the highest 59.58 million won in average debt, followed by those in their 30s with 53.01 million won, and 50s 49.81 million won. Among wage earners, those living in apartments owed 49.97 million won and in detached houses 26.42 million won.

Debt increased in tandem with income levels. Salaried workers earning 100 million won or more in annual income had an average debt of 140.66 million won, the highest among the group, followed by those earning between 70 million won and 100 million won an average of 99.43 million won. Those earning 30 million won or less owed 26 million won on average.

The average amount of loans held by workers at large companies was 65.15 million won and those at small- and mid-size enterprises 31.9 million won.

By industry sector, those working in finance and insurance business held 83.1 million won in loans, public administration 58.05 million won, and information and telecommunications 57.82 million won.

The delinquency rate of outstanding loans was 1.54 percent for wage earners in the real estate sector last year, 1.3 percent for lodging and restaurant sector, and 1.01 percent for construction sector. The rate for those in the lodging and restaurant sector was up 0.24 percentage points from the previous year, other personal service sector 0.13 percentage points, wholesale and retail sector 0.1 percentage points, and real estate sector 0.1 percentage points.

By company size, those working for enterprises with 300 or more employees held 53.72 million won in average loans and 52.25 million won in median loans while those working for enterprises with 50 or less employees 32.27 million won and 26.44 million won, data showed.

Meanwhile, the delinquency rate of outstanding loans held by wage earners was 0.56 percent last year, up 0.05 percentage points from a year ago.

By Moon Jae-yong and Lee Eun-joo

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