Thursday, March 20, 2008

South Korean Workforce Continues to Age

According to South Korea's National Statistical Office (NSO), the number of workers over 40 has increased at a fast pace while those in their 20s and 30s is declining. Over all, employees over 40 rose 3.5% to 13.2 million at the end of 2007 from a year earlier, accounting for 56.4% of the total workforce; this compares with 55.1% in 2006 and 53.7% in 2005.

Similar growth in older workers was also seen in older age groups: those in their 50's accounted for 17.5% of the total in 2007 (as compared to 16.6% in 2006), while those in their 60's accounted for 11.2% of the total in 2007 (as compared to 10.8% in 2006).

A report on the NSO results in The Korea Times states:
"With the rapidly aging population, a growing number of older Koreans, including retirees, are entering the labor market as they are forced to keep on working due to inadequate retirement savings. Also, a larger number of the elderly decide to get jobs for reasons other than financial, including health benefits," an NSO official said. He said the majority of older workers engage in lowly paid positions, usually involving manual labour in the services sector.
Source: The Korea Times "Workers Over 40 Takes 56% of Workforce" (March 20, 2008)

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