The Federation of Korean Industries analyzed 14 labor-related indices and announced on July 8 that South Korea’s quantitative indices such as the rate of employment deteriorated compared to those of the other OECD member countries while its qualitative indices such as labor productivity remained below OECD averages in spite of slight improvements.
The data released at this time covers a 20-year period starting from 1996, when South Korea became a member of the OECD, along with the quantity and quality of employment, job stability, flexibility of employment, etc.
Specifically, South Korea fell from 23rd to 26th in the ranking in terms of labor force participation rate. Likewise, it slid from 17th to 20th in employment rate and from first to second in unemployment rate between 1996 and recent times. When it comes to labor productivity and average wage, South Korea moved up from 32nd to 28th and from 19th to 17th, respectively. It remained at the third place in the length of working hours.
South Korea’s labor productivity more than doubled from US$14.6 to US$31.2 between 1996 and 2014. Nonetheless, the figure recorded in 2014 was equivalent to only 68% of the OECD average. In contrast, South Korean workers’ average wage rose from US$30,880 to US$36,653 during the same period to become equivalent to 91.8% of the OECD average.
The Federation of Korean Industries explained that the drop in quantitative indices is because of a low level of women’s economic activities and a recent increase in youth unemployment.