SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — More than half of all construction workers in South Korea are foreigners.
While Koreans comprise most of the workforce in major phases of construction, tasks that involve using physical labor are mostly completed by foreign workers.
The Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea (CERIK) reported that there were approximately 1,914,006 workers at construction sites in South Korea as of late 2018, 212,335 (11.1 percent) of whom were foreign workers.
Foreign workers hold strong presence at each construction site.
At a large-scale construction site for an apartment complex with 4,000 households, for instance, foreign workers comprised 42 percent of the workforce involved in the initial frame construction.
There were a higher number of foreign workers at larger construction sites.
The Construction Association of Korea reported that among 17,027 construction sites in the country, foreign workers comprised 73.5 percent of the workforce for construction projects valued at more than 100 billion won (US$82.5 million).
An unwillingness among South Koreans to work in construction has led to a boost in foreign employment, which also serves the purpose of lowering the cost of labor.
In recent years, construction companies increasingly prefer foreign workers due to good working attitude.
Many foreigners participate in physically intensive work including erecting formworks, assembling rebar, and laying out concrete.
The CERIK reported that only 5.2 percent of all workers involved in formwork construction were South Koreans, while 28.9 percent were foreign workers.
In contrast, South Korean welders and plumbers that require experience with relatively lenient tasks are 8.3 times and 2.5 times higher in number than foreigners.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)