The Korea Herald


Regular workers hit record high in 2010

By 황장진

Published : Feb. 7, 2011 - 18:47

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The number of regular workers in Korea reached an all-time high last year as businesses increased their number of longer-term workers amid rebounding economic conditions, data showed Monday.

The number of workers who remained employed for a year or longer totaled 10.09 million last year, the highest since related statistics started to be compiled in 1989, according to the data provided by the finance ministry and the statistics agency.

The number of such regular workers exceeded 7 million in 1993 and stayed there until 1997 but it fell back into the 6 million range in 1998 and 1999 when the nation was hit by the Asia-wide financial crisis.

As the economy recovered from the crisis, however, the figures started to rise again, exceeding 7 million in 2003 and 9 million in 2008, respectively, the data showed.

The increase comes in contrast with a decline in the number of workers on short-term contracts. The data showed that workers employed for less than a month came to a record low of 1.72 million last year.

The latest figures suggest that economic recovery and improving labor market conditions have been encouraging companies to recruit workers on longer-term contracts, bolstered by reduced business uncertainties, experts say.

Meanwhile, Korea’s jobless rate stood at 3.5 percent in December last year, unchanged from a year earlier. The total number of employed people came to 23.68 million, up 455,000 from a year earlier, according to separate government data. (Yonhap News)