Record Numbers Work Part-Time Involuntarily

  • By Shin Eun-jin

    March 02, 2022 08:35

    The number of part-time workers in Korea surged over the last five years to reach a record 1.63 million in 2021, and 70 percent of them take precarious jobs to make ends meet.

    Analysis of Statistics Korea figures shows that part-time workers increased by around 600,000 over the last five years to 1.63 million. The number of part-time workers increased 9.2 percent annually on average over the last five years, compared to a growth rate of just 1.2 percent for permanently employed workers over the same period.

    Seventy percent of the part-timers said they had to take jobs to make ends meet, and 17.1 percent said there were no other jobs available, while only 3.9 percent chose them because they have to balance work with child-rearing and housework.


    The biggest increases were among people over 60 with 15 percent and young people aged 15 to 29 with 14.6 percent. The number of part-time workers over 60 stood at 722,000, almost doubling over the last five years, while 306,000 were young, up by more than 100,000.

    "It appears that people aged over 60 are being pushed into part-time work to make ends meet in retirement," the Federation of Korean Industries said.

    Kim Yong-choon, head of the FKI said, "The next government should focus on improving the quality and sustainability of jobs rather than just boosting job figures."

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