Korea's Working-Age Population Dwindles

  • By Son Ho-young

    February 04, 2022 09:34

    Korea's working-age population will continue to decline due to the low birthrate and aging society.

    The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Thursday that the working-age population aged 15 to 64 is expected to dwindle by 3.2 million from 2020 to 2030. The economically active population is therefore projected to decline by 1.25 million over the period.

    The working-age population is people who are capable of taking part in economic activities, but the economically active population is those who are actually employed or looking for work.

    That will bring seismic changes to Korea's labor market. Rising demand for nursing home services is expected to lead to an increase of 781,000 jobs in the welfare sector by 2030, including 516,000 social welfare positions and 256,000 jobs in healthcare.

    Commuters cross a road in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on Thursday. /Newsis

    Restaurants and liquor stores are expected to see an increase of 128,000 jobs and public administration will yield some 96,000 positions. Technological innovations will also lead to an increase in jobs in science, information and communication.

    But a growing number of eco-friendly cars on the streets will result in the loss of 88,000 positions at manufacturers of combustion-engine cars, while the retail and wholesale sectors will also experience huge job losses due to increased online shopping.

    Offline sales positions will decline by 132,000 over the next 10 years, while 113,000 jobs involving machine operations will be lost.

    The ministry forecast that the aging population will result in half of Korea's working-age population being over 50 years old by 2030.

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