SEJONG, Jan 31 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s unemployment rate calculated based on the number of full-time workers who work more than 40 hours a week has slipped to 50% for the second year in a row, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
The country’s full-time equivalent (FTE) employment rate has stood at 50% for two consecutive years (58.6% in 2020 and 58.8% in 2021) for the first time since 1981, according to an analysis of economically active population per Rep. Yoo Gyeong-joon of the main opposition People Power Party.
The FTE employment rate is an indicator that is calculated by counting a worker who works 40 hours a week as an employee.
The general employment rate released by Statistics Korea was 60.1% in 2020 and 60.5% in 2021.
In 2020, the overall employment rate marked a decline of 0.8 percentage points from the previous year, but the FTE employment rate recorded a sharp year-over-year decline of 3 .4 percentage points.
After remaining at a level above the general employment rate until 2019, the employment rate in terms of FTE fell below the general employment rate in 2020, a first since 1981.
By age group, unlike the 30-59 year olds, the 15-29 year olds and the over 60s see their general employment rate exceed the FTE employment rate.
“The Moon Jae-in administration’s employment policy has simply focused on increasing the number of workers, thereby causing statistical distortion,” said Yoo, a former commissioner of Statistics Korea.
“This policy has resulted in the worst outcome, with full-time jobs replaced by part-time jobs for young people and financially supported jobs for older people.”
JS Shin ([email protected])