Temp staff in South Korea rises to 38.4% of working population

The proportion of non-regular employees has increased by 2.1 percentage points to 38.4% of the labour force in August year-on-year.
By: | October 28, 2021

Data by Statistics Korea showed that the number of non-regular workers – including part-timers and outsourced laborers – totaled 8.07 million as of August, up 640,000 or 8.6 percentage points compared to that of the previous year.

By gender, 4.49 million or 55.7% of these irregular workers were female, while 3.58 million or 44.3% were male. By age, those in their 60s formed the largest age group at 29.8%, followed by people in their 50s at 20.7%.

The increase in temporary workers was attributed to the fallout from the pandemic, with many of these working in the antivirus field, short-term jobs in state-led programmes and healthcare services amid rapid ageing in the country.

The average monthly salary for temporary workers was 1.77 million won (US$1,516) between June and August, up 58,000 won (US$49.7) from a year earlier. This was less than half of the 3.34 million won (US$2,860) regular workers received.

READ: More South Korean women prefer to work virtually

South Korea reported job growth for the seventh straight month in September as the country sees its economy recovering. Nevertheless, job recovery remained uneven among industries, with face-to-face service sectors such as accommodations and retail continuing to be in a slump amid the fourth wave of the pandemic, according to Yonhap.