Published : 2013-02-18 20:21
Updated : 2013-02-18 20:21
The yearly compensation for South Korea’s mid-level civil servants ranked low among the member countries of the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development, data showed Monday.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the OECD Korea Policy Center, the mid-level public officials received $103,884 in 2009 on average, ranked 19th out of the 22 member nations surveyed.
The average of the member countries’ total compensation package, including social contributions per year, came to $135,897, some 30.8 percent higher than that of South Korea, the data showed.
The figures were compiled by recalculating each country’s annual wages based on a uniform work week, the survey noted.
South Korea’s officialdom is classified in nine grades, with grade 1 being the highest. Applicants who pass the highly competitive national civil service examinations can skip ahead and start their public careers at grade 5, with the mid-level here indicating those at grade 3 and 4.
Of the surveyed, the mid-level officials in the U.S. central government enjoyed the largest amount of annual income with $222,299 in 2009, followed by Italy with $197,538, Britain with $192,927 and the Netherlands with $184,148.
The countries whose middle managers in the public helm earned less than those in South Korea were Estonia with $75,415, Chile with $80,784 and Slovenia with $90,776, according to the data.
The income level for the higher-ranking public officials here also came in below the average: Director-level civil servants received $136,124 in 2009, ranking 16th out of 18 countries surveyed, and assistant secretaries got $166,958, ranking 15th out of 22 countries, the data showed.
“Public employees are required to work 40 hours per week, and work on average 227 days per year. Total working time is toward the higher end of the OECD range,” the survey noted.
Government employees in South Korea also suffer lower levels of income in general compared to their civil sector counterparts here.
In 2012, public officials earned 83.7 percent of the average income for those who attend private firms that hire more than 100 employees, down from 85.2 percent from a year earlier.
But the positions in the public sector enjoy huge popularity, with competition for the yearly examination for grade 7 being 108 to 1 last year, due mainly to their job security. (Yonhap News)