May 15, 2013 12:09
Up to 1.13 million workers in Korea are laid off every year, but only 43 percent of them manage to find a new job within 12 months, according to an OECD report released early this month.
The report, entitled "Back to Work: the OECD review on displaced workers," says 2.5 percent to 5 percent of all Korean workers between 20 and 64 are laid off each year. That translates into a maximum of 1.13 million laid-off workers assuming there are 22.55 million employed people in the country.
The OECD said half of the laid-off workers in Korea encounter "economic difficulties such as bankruptcy or near-bankruptcy."
It added that only 43 percent of laid-off workers manage to find work within a year, and most of the new jobs are non-regular employment that entails a 15 percent drop in annual salary based on real income. "Even when they find new jobs, displaced workers tend to be paid less, have fewer benefits and are more likely to be overskilled than in the jobs they held prior to displacement," the report said.
The OECD cited the lack of a solid social safety net as the main reason for the financial troubles faced by laid-off workers and the difficulties many of them encounter finding new jobs. It also pointed out that two out of three laid-off workers who do manage to find new jobs end up in the same line of work as their previous posts.
"Existing training programs need to be revised to ensure that people are obtaining skills that will help them find work. The social safety net also needs to be strengthened to lower the personal and societal costs of displacement, notably by improving the coverage of unemployment benefits," it said.
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