Foreigners who get a job in Korea with the hope of the “Korean dream” are working in poor conditions with low salaries, long working hours, and a short service period.
According to the “2014 Foreign Employment Survey Results” reported on Oct. 23 by Statistics Korea, more than 60 percent of foreign employees receive less than 2 million won (US$1,890) per month, and more than half of them work over 50 hours a week.
As of May, there were 1,256,000 foreigners older than 15 living in Korea. Among them, 852,000 were employed, 44,000 were unemployed, and 360,000 were economically inactive.
Their economic activity rate was 71.4 percent, employment rate was 67.9 percent, and unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.
Foreign employees accounted for 3.3 percent of all Korean employees (25,810,000) in May. Also, the employment rate of foreigners was 70.1 percent, higher than the total Korean employment rate of 60.8 percent in the same period.
Among foreign employees, 568,000 (66.6 percent) were men and 284,000 (33.4 percent) were women.
By country, Korean Chinese employees ranked the highest with 386,000 persons, followed by 72,000 Vietnamese, 54,000 Chinese (excluding Korean Chinese), 46,000 Americans and Canadians, and 34,000 Indonesians.
By age, foreign workers in their 30s ranked first at 257,000, followed by 244,000 in their 20s, 172,000 in their 40s, and 135,000 in their 50s, respectively.
By job category, mechanics and assembly line workers were 358,000; simple labor workers were 249,000; service and sales workers were 100,000; and management and experts were 97,000.