March 21, 2017 11:06
More than 4 million Koreans now work part-time jobs at less than 36 hours a week, according to Statistics Korea on Monday.
As of February there were 4.03 million part-time workers, up 6.2 percent from the same month last year. Their proportion in the country's total workforce also increased from 14.9 percent to 15.7 percent over the same period.
The number of people who work more than 36 hours a week rose only 0.9 percent. The vast majority of part-time workers are in temporary employment.
Some 1.3 million part-time workers work less than 17 hours a week, a surge of 9.6 percent on-year. Statistics Korea estimates they are mostly day laborers at construction sites or youngsters who work between school times.
Labor experts say an increase in the number of part-time workers who are not paid full wages is leading to a slowdown in private consumption. Sung Tae-yoon, an economist at Yonsei University, said, "Part-time workers probably don't earn enough money to support themselves, and people who work less than 17 hours a week are effectively unemployed, so the situation is critical."
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