Koreans ranked second among 150 countries in terms of per capita working hours in 2012

Koreans take No. 2 for working hours

Oct 28,2013

BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

Korea may be a highly advanced country in manufacturing, but in the labor and social sectors, it still resembles a developing nation, a government report said yesterday. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) announced the fourth-largest Asian economy ranked second among 150 countries in terms of per capita working hours in 2012, according to statistics complied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mexicans were the only people to work more.Koreans work 2,090 hours a year on average, compared with Mexico’s 2,226 hours.

The United States came in 12th with 1,790 hours, data showed. Japan was 15th with 1,725 hours.
But the growth rate for labor compensation per hour was 9.8 percent in Korea in 2011, the highest among all countries, the data noted. Growth in wages in the United States was only 2.2 percent.
The OECD compared 150 countries, including countries that are not members of the organization.
The report also showed the average participation rate of female workers in the country’s economy was 49.9 percent last year, taking 25th place on the list. The United States was 11th with 57.7 percent.
Korea’s worst performance in the data was in total fertility rate. It came in 146th.
“When you are comparing those rankings with the nation’s good brand image described by the International Institute for Management Development, it shows Korea still has a long way to go to improve its labor and social sectors,” said Shim Hye-jeong, a research fellow at KITA.
In a recent report on the image of countries by the IMD, Korea ranked eighth this year, up two notches from last year.
When it came to the quality of life, Korea came in 34th.
Meanwhile, the report reaffirmed the country was No. 1 in terms of mobile phone shipments and No. 2 in semiconductor sales after the United States.
Samsung Electronics shipped 385 million mobile phones last year, beating Nokia’s 334 million and Apple’s 130 million, data showed.
Samsung snatched second place in terms of revenue from manufacturing of semiconductors at $30.5 billion after U.S.-based Intel with $47.5 billion.
The country was the second-biggest shipbuilder by order volume and the fifth-largest automaker.
In terms of trade, Korea was the eighth-biggest trading country in 2012, rising one notch from 2011. It was the seventh-largest exporter.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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