Working Elderly Still Mired in Poverty

  • By Son Ho-young

    February 02, 2022 08:34

    Half of senior citizens in Korea aged 76 or more are classified as impoverished by earning less than 50 percent of the median wage, but their employment rate is the highest in the OECD because they take on menial jobs to survive.

    According to a recent report by the Korea Economic Research Institute, the employment rate increased among older age groups, standing at 76 percent for people aged 40 to 44 and above the OECD average of 75.7 percent for those aged 50 to 54.

    It ranks second in the OECD in terms of the employment rate for people aged 65 to 69 and first for people aged 70 to 74 at 37.1 percent. That should translate into a low poverty rate among senior citizens, but that has failed to happen.

    People wait in line for a free meal in Seoul on Wednesday. /News1

    In terms of its poverty rate, Korea ranks 12th in the OECD with 11.8 percent among people aged 18 to 65, but that surges to 34.6 percent and first place among people aged 66 to 75. Among those aged 76 or above the rate is 55.1 percent compared to the OECD average of 16.6 percent.

    The key reason is the poor quality of jobs available for senior citizens. Only one out of every 10 retirees found permanent jobs.

    KERI analyzed data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study and found that only nine percent of retirees aged 55 to 74 found work as permanent employees, while 23.8 percent found only temporary positions.

    • Copyright © Chosunilbo &
    Previous Next
    All Headlines Back to Top