Self-employed are less happy than salaried workers in South Korea

A report has found that self-employed people in South Korea are less happy than wage earners even though in many other countries the reverse is true.
By: | March 3, 2022

The report was published by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs based on a decade-long survey which compared happiness between self-employed people and salaried workers in 39 OECD  countries.

In 30 of the countries surveyed, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US, people who have their own businesses reported being happier than those who work for others.

In the remaining nine countries, including Colombia, Italy and Mexico, salaried employees found themselves being happier than those who work for themselves. South Korea ranked the highest with the widest happiness gap.

“Many self-employed people in Korea had to start their own business because they had few chances of being employed by others,” said Kim Seong-ah at the institute. “They also took the hardest blow from the coronavirus pandemic.” 

READ: South Korea sees slower growth of jobs in Q3’2021

The proportion of self-employed people fell from 24.6% in 2019 to 23.9% last year as many have shuttered their small businesses due to fierce competition and the impact of the pandemic.

The World Happiness Report 2021 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a UN advisory organisation, ranked South Korea at a gloomy 50th among 95 countries surveyed, according to Chosunilbo.