SEJONG, Oct. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of temporary workers in South Korea has risen 13.1 percent on-year this year, with the percentage of such employment also increasing, government data showed Tuesday.
A total of 7.48 million workers were nonregular workers, part-timers or outsourced laborers as of August 2019, up about 870,000 from a year ago, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
They accounted for 36.4 percent of the country’s 20.55 million salaried employees.
In 2018, temporary workers accounted for 33 percent of the nation’s 20.04 million salaried employees, according to the data.
The 2019 ratio marked the highest since March 2007, when it stood at 36.6 percent.
Kang Shin-wook, commissioner of Statistics Korea, told reporters that the double-digit growth in temporary workers came after the statistics office adopted a new method that categorized more part-timers as temporary workers.
Asked whether the data suggest that the quality of jobs got worse, Kang replied that he needs to analyze more data to correctly assess job markets.
The 2019 data also showed that of the nonregular workers, 3.35 million were men, accounting for 44.9 percent, while 4.12 million were women.
Some 47 percent of the nonregular workers were in their 50s and 60s, the data showed.
The average monthly salary for temporary workers was 1.72 million won (US$1,471), up 85,000 won, or 5.2 percent, from a year earlier, compared with 3.16 million won — a 5.2 percent, or 156,000 won, rise — for regular workers, according to the data.