Impact of English Proficiency on Salary in Japan and South Korea

November 12, 2013

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Press Release

Women proficient in English earn significantly more than national averages

Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea, November 12, 2013 – Today, the en world group (President: Craig Saphin), a recruiting agency serving mid-career professionals in six countries with 10 offices in the Asia-Pacific region, announced the results of its research* on relationships between salaries and proficiency in the English language in Japan and South Korea. The results show that salaries of personnel over 40 years of age with fluency in English were more than twice as high as national averages in these two nations.

 

Influenced by globalization, annual-salary levels of fluent English-speakers tend to remain high

According to a 2012 private-sector salary survey recently announced by the National Tax Agency, domestic salary levels in Japan for that year remained low compared with past levels. Annual salaries of white-collar workers, corporate officers, and part-time workers averaged 4.08 million yen, a drop of ten thousand yen below the level of the preceding year. The job market remains similarly harsh in South Korea. In spite of an unemployment rate lower than those of other countries, many Korean university graduates are reportedly struggling to find jobs.

Nonetheless, with further acceleration of economic globalization, the demand for bilingual personnel continues to be strong in both countries. In this connection, a recent en world survey of average salaries of Japanese and Korean native speakers proficient in English as well showed that, in both countries, salary levels of such personnel in their twenties were 1.5 times, those in their thirties were 1.7 times, and those 40 or over were more than twice the average.

 

Figure 1: Average annual salaries, by age group, in Japan and average annual salaries of bilingual candidates registered with en world.

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(Source: 2012 private-sector salary survey by National Tax Agency of Japan / 2013 en world)

Figure 2: Average annual salaries, by age group, in South Korea and average annual salaries of bilingual candidates registered with en world.

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(Source: 2011 National Health Insurance Service of Korea / 2013 en world)

Salaries of English-proficient women significantly higher than national averages

Although gender-based discrepancies persist in Japan and South Korea, in both countries women proficient in English earn annual salaries far higher than national averages.

Figure 3: Average annual salaries, by age group, in Japan and average annual salaries of bilingual female job candidates registered with en world.

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(Source: 2012 private-sector salary survey by National Tax Agency of Japan / 2013 en world)

Figure 4: Average annual salaries, by age group, in South Korea and average annual salaries of bilingual female job candidates registered with en world.

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(Source: 2011 National Health Insurance Service of Korea / 2013 en world)

 About these results, Craig Saphin, president of the en world group and of en world Japan, said, “Under the economic policies of Prime Minister Abe—so-called Abe-nomics—one growth strategy involves human resources. The research reported on here can be said to symbolize a future of globalization and full utilization of women’s abilities. Given the reported urgent decline in the Japanese labor force resulting from a diminishing birthrate and population aging, making the best possible use of the female labor force is indispensable in promoting corporate globalization and ensuring employee diversity.”

Simon Kim, president of en world Korea, commented, “Now for the first time in history, South Korea has a female president. In the years to come, more women are expected to play leading administrative and managerial roles in Korean society. Furthermore, today, organizational diversity is an indispensable element in promoting global corporate growth.”

From the recruiting standpoint, en world is resolved to continue making contributions to expanding women’s roles in society and to cultivating personnel and businesses suited to global-scale activities.

*Subjects of the survey were bilingual candidates for regular, contracted, and temporary employment (4,085), all of whom were registered with en world as of August, 2013.

About en world

A recruiting agency focusing on mid-career professionals, en world was established in 1999 as Wall Street Associates, a recruiting agency specializing in finance. To expand its business, in 2010, the company became a subsidiary of en-japan inc., Japan’s leading internet-based recruitment-solutions provider. In April, 2012,  it was re-launched as en world Japan with operations in Japan (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Nagoya, and the Kansai region), Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia (operating as Calibrate Recruitment), and Vietnam (operating as Navigos Search).

For further information about this press release, please contact:

Email: marketing@enworld.com