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Report: Most New Jobs Are Low-Paying

Posted August. 21, 2006 03:06,   


According to the Korea Development Institute (KDI), there has been a dramatic decrease in “decent jobs,” which means jobs in conglomerates, public enterprises and financial firms, since the foreign exchange crisis in Korea.

Most of the newly created jobs were concentrated in the low-wage sector and as a result, low-paid workers increased.

The KDI recently published a report entitled, “Overcoming Polarization and Social and Economic Policies Suggestion to Unify the Society.” The report says that the number of employees working at the top 30 conglomerates, public enterprises and financial firms decreased from 1,579,000 in 1997 to 1,305,000 in 2004, down by 274,000.

During the period, people who got employed increased by 1,340,000. However, the “decent jobs,” which provide one with job security, high wages, and opportunities to develop one’s career have gone down. The results of this research were based on the Employment Insurance database of the Ministry of Labor.

Workers employed by the top 30 conglomerates plunged. In 1997, as many as 879,000 people were hired. However, only 672,000 were hired by those enterprises in 2004, which means that 207,000 jobs have disappeared during the seven years.

On the other hand, many low-paying jobs were created and the rate of the low-paid workers has increased steadily. According to the report, the rate of low-wage workers who only receive two-thirds of that of the middle-wage workers was 22.6 percent in 2001 and went up to 26.8 percent in 2005.