More South Korean workers hold more than one job

To make ends meet, a record 506,000 workers in the country juggled two jobs last year, up around 100,000 from five years ago.
By: | May 10, 2022

This was revealed by Statistics Korea, which suggested that the quality of jobs is deteriorating.

The number of such workers increased among both salaried workers and the self-employed. The number of salaried workers juggling two jobs was 302,000, up 23.3% compared to five years ago, while 157,000 self-employed people worked two jobs, an increase of 37.1%.

The increase appears to be due to salaried workers in small or mid-sized companies whose overtime pay shrank once the working week was capped at 52 hours, and self-employed people who were hit by lockdowns caused by the pandemic.

Out of the self-employed group, 90% who started moonlighting amid the pandemic were small store owners without staff.

More salaried workers also juggled two jobs, especially after the shorter working week was implemented in small and mid-sized companies in July last year. As available overtime was slashed, many workers in the manufacturing industry also turned to delivering food or parcels outside their working hours to earn extra income.

By age, moonlighting increased particularly sharply among younger workers, who had a harder time landing a proper job in the pandemic, and those over 60, who are typically not as well paid as those in the middle-age bracket.

READ: South Korea supports firms that allow staff to work remotely

The number of people in their 20s and 30s who work two jobs increased more than 40% since 2016 to 104,000 last year, and the number of those in their 60s increased by 57.2% to 114,000.  But among people in their 40s and 50s, the number dwindled from 227,000 to 214,000, according to The Chosunilbo.