SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of South Koreans who were employed last year but took temporary leave due to a lack of work resulting from sluggish business or suspended operations reached an all-time high last year.
According to data released by the Statistics Korea, the number of employed people who took temporary leave shot up to 837,000 last year after hovering at a level between 300,000 and 400,000 over the past 15 years.
Last year’s figure was the highest since the related statistics were first compiled in 1980.
By industry, public health and social welfare services accounted for the largest share at 19.3 percent. By age, those over 60 years of age grabbed the largest share at 39.5 percent.
Key factors behind the surge in the number of such people include the sharp increase in leave resulting from sluggish business and suspended operations.
The number of employed people who took temporary leave due to sluggish business or suspended operations reached an all-time high af 371,000 last year after hovering between 40,000 and 60,000 in the 2010s.
Last year’s figure was about an eight-fold increase compared to 2019.
In 2019, the primary reason for temporary leave was sickness and accidents (29.2 percent), while annual leave and vacation accounted for the largest share at 42 percent in 2018.
“Those who take temporary leave due to sluggish business or suspended operations are effectively jobless, even though they are not officially classified as such,” said Sung Tae-yoon, an economics professor at Yonsei University.
“The surge in the number of such people indicates that the COVID-19 shock on the job market was severe last year.”
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)