The Korea Herald


Foreign employees in Korea continue to increase

By 윤정현

Published : Oct. 20, 2016 - 16:54

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[THE INVESTOR] The number of foreigners working in South Korea made a slight increase this year from a year earlier, government data showed on Oct. 20.

Of the more than 1.42 million foreign residents aged 15 or older, about 962,000 were working as of May this year, according to the data provided by Statistics Korea. Their employment rate reached 67.6 percent, down 0.7 percentage point from a year earlier.

Their jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent in May, also down 0.7 percentage point from last year.

Last year, there were some 1.47 million foreign passport holders residing in the country, out of the total 1.95 million foreign nationals including short-term visitors.

Of those hired, 45.4 percent, or 437,000, were employed in the manufacturing sector, while 19.7 percent were hired in the retail, wholesale and hospitality fields and another 19.4 percent were working in the service sector.

By nationality, Chinese nationals of Korean descent totaled 441,000, or 45.9 percent, out of the total foreign employments, with Vietnamese coming in next with a 7.4 percent portion. The ethnic Chinese employed in the country accounted for 6.6 percent, followed by 4.7 percent from the United States and Canada.

Of all foreign workers, those with a monthly income of between 1 million (US$891) won and 2 million won accounted for 48.7 percent, with those earning 2-3 million won and more than 3 million won coming to 37.9 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, the data showed.