Korea's Competitiveness Stuck at 26th in the World

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    September 28, 2017 12:06

    Korea ranked 26th out of 137 countries in the 2017 global competitiveness rankings announced by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

    The WEF said Korea is one of a few industrialized countries whose rankings actually fell over the last decade, citing political instability and an inflexible labor market as Korea's biggest weaknesses.

    It said one area "in which Korea consistently underperforms is labor market efficiency, in which it ranks 73rd, hiding deeper challenges with regard to labor market flexibility -- in which it ranks 106th -- caused notably by conflictual labor-employer relations and high redundancy costs."

    The bastion of neoliberal economic doctrine ranked Korea 112th in redundancy costs, 88th in terms of hiring and firing practices, and 62nd in flexibility of wage determination.

    Korea rose to 13th place in 2008 but fell to 24th in 2011, only to stage a brief comeback at 19th place in 2012.

    But it performed highly in macroeconomic environment (second) and infrastructure (eighth). The WEF said the Korean government must continue to strive for labor market reforms.

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