Number of South Koreans outside labour force drops

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.
By: | November 8, 2021

“The slight drop comes as an increasing number of people are willing to work amid signs of a recovery in the job market,” said Statistics Korea.

People outside the labour force accounted for 37.2% of all South Koreans aged 15 and older, a drop of 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier, data from Statistics Korea showed.

Meanwhile, the number of non-economically active people, or those who have no willingness to work, was 16.76 million as of end-August, a decrease of 106,000 from a year earlier.

Out of this group of non-economically active people, 3.99 million want to get jobs or set up shop within one year, up 2.2% from a year earlier. The figure represents the largest number since similar data were tracked in 2016.

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Statistics Korea’s data also showed 870,000 non-economically active people were preparing for employment – also the largest-ever tally, according to Yonhap.

South Korea’s total labour force saw a dip from 28.28 million in July to 28.19 million in August before rising again to 28.30 million in September, according to Moody’s Analytics.