The number of discouraged workers in South Korea spiked to an all-time high in 2021 amid a weak labour market due to the prolonged pandemic.
An extra budget of 14 trillion won (US$11.7 billion) is being planned to support small merchants and the self-employed hard-hit by the pandemic.
Foreign companies are calling on the government to provide "clarity" and "predictability" on the tougher law relating to serious industrial accidents.
This was the most number of jobs added in seven years as the labour market bounces back to pre-pandemic levels.
The government is planning to grant 40 trillion won (US$33.2 billion) of fresh funds to small firms and the self-employed before the Lunar New Year.
A fast-track visa system for foreigners with a master or PhD degree in science and IT will guarantee legal status during their job search period.
The minimum wage for 2022 has been set at 9,160 won (US$7.7) per hour, the first time it has exceeded 9,000 won (US$7.5).
Seoul topped other cities and provinces in terms of work-life balance, a recent survey by the Ministry of Employment and Labour has shown.
As of end-2020, the country registered a total of 6,013,000 businesses, an increase of 17.8% from five years earlier.
At least one in five young South Koreans, aged 15 to 29, were job searching as of October, according to data from Statistics Korea.
The jobless rate was 2.6% in November, down 0.8 percentage point year-on-year. The rate was 3.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
About 75.2% of businesses said they plan to either continue remote-work policies at the current level or partially downscale it when the pandemic ends.
However, jobs addition fell below 600,000 for the first time in three months, which was attributed to the resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Workers who had graduated from college or high school less than a year ago were found to face more difficulty finding jobs.
There are about 220,000 people working as gig workers for online platforms, which account for 8.5% of the country’s total workers.
Total jobs reached 24.72 million last year, up 710,000, or 2.9% from the previous year, marking the largest jump in job additions since 2016.
The number of irregular workers has increased from 8.5 million to 9.04 million in August, rising 6.35% year-on-year.
The number of paid employee jobs rose 3.6% in the second quarter amid signs of the economy’s recovery from the pandemic.
Small businesses will be compensated for their incurred losses because of COVID-19 restrictions, although some businesses are exempted from this.
Some 29.2% of foreign investment companies with over 300 employees felt most uneasy about the introduction of the workplace disaster law.
The proportion of non-regular workers in the country has also been increasing, rising by 5.5 percentage points from 2017 to 2021.
Over the last four years, five major cities outside Seoul have driven the increase in the proportion of non-regular jobs in the country.
Out of the 38 members of the OECD, South Korea ranks highest in the pay gap between male and female employees in 2020.
The unemployment rate for young adults, aged between 15 and 29, fell by 2.7 percentage points year-to-year to 5.6%.
The sector that saw the largest wage jump include tech firms, while the salaries of workers in the tourism and aviation sectors took a plunge.
The number of people outside the labour force fell 0.6% in August compared to that of 2020, driven by more people wanting to be employed again.
Workers in internet service firms saw their pay rising in the first half of 2021, while those in the travel sector experienced a slump.
Lee Jae-myung believes that the implementation of a four-day workweek will create more jobs and cut working hours in the country.
The proportion of non-regular employees has increased by 2.1 percentage points to 38.4% of the labour force in August year-on-year.
An online survey of 4,476 employees shows that a much higher proportion of women than men prefer to work remotely than at a physical office location.