South Korea’s full-time equivalent employment rate slips to 50% for second straight year


Job seekers check employment information during a job fair held at the aT center in southern Seoul on Nov. 16, 2021, file photo. (Yonhap)

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])


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