South Korea sees increase in non-regular jobs in 5 major cities

Over the last four years, five major cities outside Seoul have driven the increase in the proportion of non-regular jobs in the country.
By: | November 22, 2021

The total proportion of non-regular workers rose from 32.9% in 2017 to an all-time high of 38.4% in 2021, data from Statistics Korea showed.

Workers classified as non-regular include temporary workers, part-timers and others in underemployed status. Data showed that the pace of growth in the non-regular job share was particularly fast in metropolitan cities.

The five cities with the highest growth rates were: Daejeon which showed an 8.2 percentage point rise, followed by Busan (7.9 percentage points), Daegu (6.2 percentage points), Ulsan (5.8 percentage points) and Incheon (5.7 percentage points).

These rates were higher than the average nationwide growth of 5.5 percentage points.

The increases for Seoul and Gwangju were 4.6 percentage points and 3.1 percentage points, respectively. Nevertheless, the non-regular job portion in these two cities – 38.5% and 40.0% respectively in 2021 – were higher than the nationwide average of 38.4%.

The only major city with a negative growth rate was Sejong with its rate falling 4.8 percentage points to 26.7%.

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By region, South Gyeongsang province (11.6 percentage points) saw the highest growth, while Gyeonggi province (6.7 percentage points) also outstripped the national average. Of the nine provinces, the two are the only ones to be home to large cities with populations above 1 million, according to The Korea Herald.