SEJONG, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of foreign workers in South Korea declined for the second consecutive year in 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy had 848,000 foreign employees as of the end of May, down 1.8 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea and the justice ministry.
It marks the second straight year that the number of foreign workers in the country has decreased from a year earlier.
In particular, the number of temporary foreign workers or day laborers plunged 12.4 percent, or 41,000, from the prior year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The employment rate among foreigners living in South Korea stood at 63.7 percent as of end-May, down 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier.
The number of jobless foreigners here came to 70,000, up 38.2 percent from a year earlier and the largest tally since data tracking began in 2012.
The data also showed foreign wage workers with a monthly income of below 2 million won (US$1,820) accounted for 32.5 percent of the total.
Those with a monthly pay in the 2 million-won range took up 51.1 percent, with 16.4 percent earning 3 million won or more.