South Korea trails APAC neighbours in female employment rate

South Korea ranks 30th place out of 36 OECD countries, and falls behind Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
By: | July 14, 2021

South Korea lags behind its Asia Pacific neighbours on the female employment rate, registering a 56.7% employment rate for women aged 15 to 64 in 2020, and ranking in 30th place out of 36 OECD countries, according to OECD data.

Among its neighbours in Asia Pacific, New Zealand recorded 72.2%, Japan registered 70.7%, while Australia recorded 68.6% in the employment rate for women. 

Countries that ranked above South Korea were the Czech Republic (67.1%), Hungary (62.4%), Slovakia (61.6%) and Poland (61.5%).

In contrast, South Korea ranked 17th in the employment rate for men among the 36 OECD member countries, showing a disparity in hiring among genders. 

But the country still fell short on male employment compared to Japan, at 2nd place with 83.9%; New Zealand, at 5th place with 81.5%; the Czech Republic, at 6th place with 81.4%; and the UK, at 8th place with 79.1%.

Payouts of unemployment benefits also grew at a faster pace among women than men across most cities and provinces in the country, according to the Korea Employment Information Service, reports The Korea Herald

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In Seoul, there were 64,339 men receiving unemployment benefits in April 2021, an increase of 62.3% from 39,633 in December 2019.

Over the same period, there were 76,915 women receiving such benefits in April this year, an increase of 88.2% from the 40,851 recipients in December 2019.