SEOUL, June 17 (Korea Bizwire) – The employment rate for women in their late 30s has reached its highest level in seven years, thanks to the widespread implementation of flextime scheduling. Flextime offers employees the freedom to choose their own workdays, and start and finish times.
According to Statistics Korea Thursday, last month’s employment rate for women in their late 30s was 56.7 percent, just short of November 2008’s figure of 57.6 percent.
The rate has been increasing in recent months this year, from 55.6 percent in January to 56.1 percent in March, and up to 56.4 percent in April. The fact that it remained in the 54 percent range from 2009 to 2015 makes this increase a noticeable change.
Finding a job often becomes more difficult for older women due to childbirth and childrearing. But with the increasing prevalence of flextime labor, these women have been provided with new employment opportunities.
“Government policy, which encouraged flextime labor such as working from home and selective part-time jobs, has played a big role,” said Kim Gwang-seok, an affiliate professor at Hanyang University. “And with the increasing number of day-care centers, women have more opportunities to work.”
Structural changes in the economy and delayed marriages have also accounted for a rising number of working women in their late 30s.
“Industry is shifting away from manufacturing to services, and especially with the ongoing corporate restructuring, the number of positions in the manufacturing industry, which were often held by men, is declining, while the number is growing for the services industry,” added professor Kim.
But in relative terms, the employment rate for women in their late 30s is still low when compared to men. The employment rate for men in their late 30s is 92 percent.
The rate for women in their late 20s (25 to 29 years of age) is 70.3 percent, while it is 60.4 percent for women in their early 30s (30 – 34), 66.1 percent for women in their 40s, and 62.2 percent for women in their 50s, all higher than the rate for women in their late 30s.
The rate was also lower than the OECD average of 66.6 percent in 2014, which was 54.9 percent for Korea.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)