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Nearly 40% of province-based public agency staff live alone

Nearly 40 percent of workers at public institutions based in provincial cities in South Korea live away from their families, a report said Tuesday, while calling for measures to help more live with their families.

A decade ago, South Korea designated 10 "innovation cities" across the nation and relocated the headquarters of 115 public organizations to those cities to promote balanced regional growth.

According to the report from the office of Rep. Song Ki-heon of the ruling Democratic Party, 37.8 percent of public agencies' 33,212 employees, or 12,567 people, lived away from their families as of the end of June this year.
Gwangju innovation city (Yonhap)
Gwangju innovation city (Yonhap)

Only 10,800 workers, or 32.5 percent of the combined workforce, have moved to the regional innovation cities with their families. Nearly 24 percent of the total were single.

South Gyeongsang Province's innovation city, which is located near the southern town of Jinju, had the highest rate of people living by themselves with 51 percent, followed by that in Gwangju in South Jeolla Province with 42.5 percent.

Provincial governments have come up with a range of measures and benefits to encourage more workers of public organizations to settle down in the innovation cities but with little success.

"The settlement rate for workers of province-based public agencies remains low, despite a series of supportive measures," Rep. Song said. "In a bid to add some pizzazz to the innovation cities, special measures should be taken to encourage people to settle in them." (Yonhap)
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