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Housewives Are Returning to Workforce

Posted September. 16, 2006 03:50,   


On September 15, Kim Yoo-gyeong (fictitious name, 44), a mother of three, went out beautifully dressed, in order to look for a job in 20 years.

She went to the Incheon Women’s Job Fair. After graduating from a commercial high school, she worked as an accountant at a small company until she got married when she was 23.

She said, “My husband, in his late 40s, recently talked about a layoff. I began to feel insecure financially, so I decided to look for a job.”

She had several interviews with those in charge of personnel departments of companies. However, it was not easy for a housewife in her mid-40s to find a job. “I do not even dream of getting a job in an accountant’s department. Even a manufacturing or sales department would do. I just want a job with a steady salary.”

With economic slowdown and job insecurity worsening, a growing number of housewives are looking for jobs.

According to Incruit Corporation, the number of job applicants among married women rose from 7,500 in 2003 to 14,052 last year. As of September 12 of this year, 11,282 married women had applied for a job, and the number of job seekers among married women is expected to reach 16,300 by the end of this year.

Indeed, the number of housewives who have landed jobs has also increased.

According to the National Statistical Office, the number of employed women in their 20s has dropped 5.3 percent compared to last year. However, the number of employed women in their 30s and 40s rose 4.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, and the figure among women in their 50s increased by as much as 5.4 percent.

swon@donga.com larosa@donga.com