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Non-regular workers numbered at 6 million

College graduates make up 30% of irregular workforce

The number of “irregular” workers with low pay and less job security in Korea reached nearly 6 million, data showed on Friday, underscoring that the country’s employment condition continues to deteriorate.

Statistics Korea said the number of non-regular workers in Korea stood at 5.99 million as of end-August, accounting for a 34.2 percent share in the total workforce.

The total number of salaried workers, including temporary employees, rose 2.7 percent on-year to 17.51 million.

Non-permanent workers were tallied at 5.75 million in August 2009, before shrinking by 69,000 to 5.68 million in August last year. But the figure gained 309,000 workers by August this year.

Notable is that more than 30 percent of those with non-permanent jobs are college graduates. The increasing ratio of college graduates in the irregular workforce suggests that a diplomat at higher education does not guarantee stable jobs amid the protracted economic slump.

The average monthly pay of irregular workers is 1.34 million won, far lower than 2.38 million won for regular workers. Only 2.6 percent of non-permanent workers applied for labor union membership.

By Yang Sung-jin (
catch table
Korea Herald daum