SEOUL, Korea, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) – Female job seekers in Korea seem to have had a tough time in the job market last year.
In 2013, as the growth rate of employment of male workers has become nearly twice that of female workers at the top-ten conglomerates, the proportion of female employees has declined over the previous year.
Although the number of female employees has increased, the percentage of that to the total number of employees has become less significant.
According to a local media, the total number of employees at the top-ten business groups was 625,144 as of the end of last year, which has increased 3.1 percent (18,992) year on year. However, the number of female employees has only increased 1.9 percent (2,465) to 130,930 in total while the number of male employees has increased nearly twice greater by 3.5 percent (16,527) to 494,214.
Thus, the overall proportion of female workers has declined by 0.3 percentage point from 21.2 percent in 2012 to 20.9 percent in 2013. The proportion of female employees at major groups such as Lotte, Hyundai Heavy Industries, GS, Hanwha and POSCO have risen but fallen at Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, LG and Hanjin over the year before.
Lotte Group was the only conglomerate among the top-ten groups with the proportion of female employees greater than that of male employees. In 2013, the number of female workers at Lotte was 23,922 accounting for 50.4 percent of the total number of employees, which has increased by 1.0 percentage point year on year. Last year’s growth rate for female employment at Lotte was 10.3 percent while the growth rate for male employment was 6.0 percent.
Nevertheless, such a high number of female employment does not automatically make Lotte Group the most women-friendly employer among the top-ten conglomerates because Lotte also happened to have the highest proportion of non-regular employees working for the company.
The number of contract-based non-regular employees has dropped by 0.3 percentage point to 838,081 accounting for 6.1 percent of the total employees in 2013. The proportion of non-regular employees was the highest at Lotte with 19.3 percent.
The runner-up was Hanwha Group with 10.5 percent, followed by GS (9.6%), Hanjin (8.3%), and Hyundai Motor (6.0%).
LG Group turned out to have the lowest non-regular employment rate of 2.5 percent (2,758), and about 5.0 percent (9,108) of the employees at Samsung were reported to be non-regular workers with little job security.
Written by Robin Koo (firstname.lastname@example.org)