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Half of Workers in Their Twenties Employed in Temporary Jobs

Half of Workers in Their Twenties Employed in Temporary Jobs

Posted January. 26, 2004 22:54,   


It turns out that more than one out of every two salary earners in their twenties do not have steady jobs and are temporary or daily workers.

According to the annual report on the economically active population from the National Statistical Office (NSO), as of 2002, temporary workers (1.622 million people) and daily workers (0.391 million people) make up over half, approximately 50.2 percent, of the total number of wage earners between the ages of 20 to 29 (some 4.008 million people).

Considering that wage earners in their thirties who are temporary or daily workers made up 44.3 percent over the same time period, employment conditions for workers in their twenties are somewhat insecure by comparison.

The rate of temporary and daily workers in their forties and fifties registered at 50.9 percent and 57.1 percent respectively: higher than the twenties. However, considering that many in this generation are resigning their jobs with their retirement, the NSO said that the lack of steady employment for workers in their twenties, many of whom have to find new jobs, has reached a serious level.

Compared to just ten years ago, it is clear that the uncertainty in employment for the workers in their twenties has become heavier.

Based on information from the end of 2002, the rate of temporary and daily workers in their twenties was only about 38.8 percent in 1992, but jumped by 11.4 percent in just ten years.

The percentage of temporary and daily workers in their twenties reached 52.1 percent, the highest percentage ever, in 1999 after the restructuring. It fell to 51.9 percent in 2000 and 49.7 percent in 2001, but increased back to the 50 percent level in 2002.

The unsteady employment conditions are illustrated by the distribution of working hours.

As of the end of 2002, out of the 4.486 million workers in their twenties, including employers and self-employers, 5.1 percent, some 230 thousand people, had weekly working hours under 27 hours.

About 126,000 people, approximately 2.8 percent of the total, did not even reach 18 working hours per week, which makes it difficult to consider this segment of the workforce well employed.

Jin-Hup Song jinhup@donga.com