SEJONG, Oct. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The employment rate for foreigners in South Korea edged up in 2015 from the previous year amid a steady influx of foreign nationals into the country, data showed Thursday.
Of the more than 1.37 million foreign residents aged 15 or older, about 938,000 were working as of May this year, according to the data provided by Statistics Korea. This translates into an employment rate of 68.3 percent, up 0.4 percentage point from an year earlier.
Last year, there were some 1.25 million foreign passport holders residing in the country. Data showed their jobless rate stood at 4.9 percent in May unchanged from a year earlier.
Of those hired, 46.3 percent, or 434,000, were employed in manufacturing jobs, with 19.2 percent hired in the service sector. Another 19 percent were working in the retail, wholesale and hospitality fields, with 9.2 percent hired by local construction companies.
The data also showed that 95.9 percent, or 898,000 foreign workers, were hired as salaried employees. Of these 553,000 were regular workers and 346,000 were non-regular workers.
By nationality, Chinese nationals of Korean descent totaled 437,000, with Vietnamese coming in next at 76,000. There were also some 56,000 ethnic Chinese employed in the country, as well as some 52,000 people from the United States and Canada.
By age, 28.3 percent of all foreigners working in the country were in their 30s, with 27.2 percent between the ages of 20 and 29. This was followed by 20 percent of the total being in their 40s.
Of all foreign workers, those with a monthly income between 1 million (US$879) won and 2 million won accounted for 53.1 percent, with those earning 2-3 million won and more than 3 million won coming to 34.3 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, the data showed.