Temporary jobs for South Koreans in their 20s plunge as pandemic wears on

Statistics Korea said the number of temporary and daily jobs for those in their 20s declined 18% in January due to the pandemic.
By: | February 19, 2021

There were 997,000 temporary and daily workers in their 20s last month in the country, a drop of 17.7% or 214,000, from a year ago. 

The number of temporary workers dropped by 151,000 in January compared with that from a year earlier, while that of daily workers decreased by 63,000. 

Temporary workers are defined as those who have employment contracts of one month to less than one year, and daily workers have contracts of less than one month. 

Market observers attributed the sharp drop in the number of temporary and daily workers in their 20s to the pandemic, which has severely impacted the services sector that heavily relies on them. 

In January, the number of temporary and daily workers in South Korea was 4.99 million, down 13.7% from a year earlier, according to Yonhap. 

Temporary employees are considered non-regular workers in the country, and their employee rights are protected by South Korean law which has a minimum wage system. Typically, students and homemakers engage in temporary jobs.

READ: Pandemic widens employment gap in South Korea

Office workers can also take on part-time jobs as temporary positions in addition to their regular jobs. While part-time jobs contribute supplementary income with minimal commitment, a recent survey found that many part-time workers in South Korea work for more than 40 hours per week, and for them, part-time jobs are a primary source of income. 

Statistics for Asia’s fourth-largest economy showed that there are about 27.52 million people employed in 2021, according to Statista.