SEJONG, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s unemployment rate calculated based on the number of full-time workers who work more than 40 hours per week slipped to the 50 percent level for the second straight year, a lawmaker said Sunday.
The nation’s full-time equivalent (FTE) employment rate stood at 50 percent level for two straight years (58.6 percent in 2020 and 58.8 percent in 2021) for the first time since 1981, according to an analysis of the economically active population by Rep. Yoo Gyeong-joon of the main opposition People Power Party.
The FTE employment rate is an indicator that is calculated by counting a worker who works 40 hours per week as one employee.
The general employment rate released by Statistics Korea stood at 60.1 percent in 2020 and 60.5 percent in 2021.
In 2020, the general employment rate marked a decline of 0.8 percentage points compared to a year earlier, but the FTE employment rate registered a sharp year to year decline of 3.4 percentage points.
After standing at a level higher than the general employment rate until 2019, the FTE employment rate became lower than the general employment rate in 2020, a first since 1981.
By age group, unlike those between the ages of 30 and 59, those from 15 to 29 and over 60 saw their general employment rate overtake the FTE employment rate.
“The jobs policy of the Moon Jae-in administration focused simply on increasing the number of workers, thereby causing statistical distortion,” said Yoo, who is former commissioner of the Statistics Korea.
“This policy resulted in the worst outcome, with full-time jobs replaced by part time jobs for young people and financially supported jobs for elderly people.”
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)