[News Focus] Men in Sejong and women in Jeju have the highest employment rate

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People fill out application forms at a job fair in Seoul earlier this month. (Yonhap)

SEJONG — The most recent employment rate was highest among men residing in Sejong and women residing in Jeju Province, according to a state agency’s analysis of figures from 17 major regions, eight cities and nine provinces of South Korea.

Data from Statistics Korea showed that the country’s employment rate for people aged 15-64 stood at 60.4% in June 2021 (latest available statistics), in which a wide gap between men and women is observed – 70% for men against 51.2. percent for women.

(Graphic by Kim Sun-young/The Korea Herald)

These figures were low compared to December 2019 – a month before COVID-19 initially hit the country – when the employment rate reached 61.7% (71.1% for men and 52.5% for women). women).

Although the employment index is likely to improve after bottoming out in the first half of 2020, it was found that the disparities between residents of the 17 major regions, as well as the gender gap, were quite important.

Sejong tops the list for male employment with 75.5% in June. This contrasts with 65.1% among men in Busan (lowest) and 67.6% in Seoul and Gwangju (second lowest).

The higher figure in Sejong is attributed to the fact that a significant portion of its male employees work in the country’s largest government complex or in state-funded agencies in the administrative city, which enjoy strong security. employment.

But falling numbers – which remained below the national average for men – in Seoul, Busan and Gwangju suggest unstable job security and high unemployment rates in metropolitan cities, which have been further aggravated by the pandemic.

Other regions with numbers below the national average include Daegu at 68.3%, Ulsan at 68.5% and Daejeon at 69.1%.

Jeju ranked second in male employment rate (73.9%), followed by South Chungcheong Province (73.5), South Jeolla Province (73.4), North Chungcheong Province (72.4) and Gyeonggi and North Gyeongsang Provinces (71.5).

For women, the No. 1 location was Jeju Province with 63.6%, which is about 12 percentage points higher than the national average for female employment rate of 51.2%.

A dominant section of women on the country’s largest island, Jeju, work as divers for fishing activities – known as “haenyeo” – or as farmers or small business owners or as employees in the service industry .

This was a big disparity with 45.9% in Ulsan (lowest female employment rate), 48% in Busan (second lowest), 48.7% in Daegu and 49.9% in Gyeonggi province. .

Although Sejong’s female residents (51.6%) exceeded the average, its ranking among the 17 regions stood at 10th, which contrasts with the No. 1 position of male residents in Sejong.

A large portion of young female civil servants in their 20s and 30s – working in the government complex or in public agencies in the administrative city – officially reside in Seoul, Gyeonggi or other areas, based on registration state residents. . They commute or live temporarily in studios and apartments around the complex.

Women in Seoul (51.7%) and Incheon (52%) rank ninth and seventh respectively, surpassing the figures of the other six major cities.

After Jeju, the province of Gangwon, where many women work in agriculture or fishing, ranks second with 56%. South Jeolla Province (55.5%) was third, followed by North Chungcheong Province (54.3%) and South Chungcheong Province (53.4%).

By Kim Yon-se ([email protected])

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