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Average Retirement Age is 55 for Men and 52 for Women

Posted July. 07, 2005 02:29,   


It was found that it takes an average of 10 months for young Koreans aged 15 to 29 to land their first jobs after graduation, and seven out of 10 quit their first jobs in less than two years.

Also, six out of 10 elderly Koreans aged 55 to 79 are searching for jobs.

The National Statistical Office released the “Statistics on the Employment of Korean Youth and Elderly” on July 6.

The report indicates that it takes less than three months for 56.3 percent, the largest share of high school or university graduates surveyed, to land their first jobs. In contrast, 8.4 percent waited for more than three years to find their first job. All in all, it takes young Koreans an average of 10 months to become employed after graduation.

The report also suggests that 70 percent of young new recruits quit their jobs to accept better positions at other firms in an average of 17 months.

The office explained, “The high turnover rate of young Koreans is blamed on the fact that their first jobs are mostly unskilled work in areas such as service and sales, and they are paid low for long hours of work.”

Among the 8,099,000 elderly populations, 48.8 percent, or 3,952,000 people, are employed. The proportion of the employed elderly exceeds the expectation, with 60.4 percent among those aged 55 to 64 and 35.9 percent among those aged 65 to 79.

Only 11.2 percent of employees work until the age limit. The average retirement ages are 55 for men and 52 for women.

Apart from retirement at the age limit, workers are found to quit the jobs due to poor health (28.7 percent), sluggish business, work stoppage, and suspension or closure of business (20.3 percent), more family time (14.4 percent), and the belief that they are old enough to do so (7.5 percent).

Thirty six point four percent of elderly employees engage in machine operation and unskilled manual labor, and 31.3 percent work in the agricultural and fishery industry. Fifty eight point eight percent of the elderly seek jobs, with more than half of them (53.8 percent) in order to make a living.

As for the monthly wage level desired by elderly job seekers, 0.5-1 million won placed on top at 41.1 percent, followed by 1-1.5 million won at 28.5 percent, 1.5-3 million won at 15.1 percent, and less than 500,000 won at 11.4 percent.

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com