SEOUL, March 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Economically active South Koreans over 60 outnumbered people in their 20s for the first time ever in 2017, government data showed Sunday.
According to Statistics Korea, there was a rise in the number of people in both groups but because those in their 20s put off work in the face of the tight job market there were more older people making money.
Data showed that last year there were 4.06 million economically active people in their 20s, while corresponding numbers for people over 60 totaled 4.21 million.
There was virtually no change in the numbers for young people, although those over 60 with jobs rose by 257,000.
The labor market experienced tough times with young people, in particular, taking longer to find a job.
The statistical office defines an economically active person as one who worked to earn money or that strived to find work even if he or she did not have a job. Those that did not because of poor health, child rearing, or were preparing for a job by studying, were all categorized as being economically non-active.
Because of younger people opting not to find work last year, the government said shift in demographics is invariably leading to changes in the makeup of the country’s workforce.
The overall number of people over 60 grew by 495,000 in 2017 over the previous year, with the total exceeding the 10 million mark for the first time ever. The number of people in their 20s also grew, albeit at a slower pace, with 64,000 people entering this age group.