The employment rate of senior citizens has been rising steadily, with such individuals actively seeking jobs to avoid falling through the country's weak social safety net, official data showed Thursday.
According to the data compiled by Statistics Korea, the number of people aged 65 years or older reached 7.38 million in 2018, accounting for 14.3 percent of the country's total population.
The employment rate for those aged between 55 and 59 was 72.6 percent in 2017, compared to 70.6 percent in 2015 and 66.5 percent in 2010.
The comparable figure for those aged between 60 and 64 stood at 60.6 percent in 2017, rising from 59.6 percent in 2015 and 53.7 percent in 2010, the latest findings showed.
And 45.5 percent of those aged between 65 and 69 worked in 2017, compared to employment rates of 44.6 percent and 41.1 percent, in 2015 and 2010, respectively.
Experts said the relatively higher employment rates for older citizens stem from the country's weak retirement pension system, which forces seniors to earn money after retirement.
According to a government report last year, South Korean subscribers to the state pension program receive a monthly pension payment equivalent to 24 percent of their average monthly salaries before their initial retirement.
In terms of market income, including salaries and other sources of income, South Korea's poverty rate for the elderly came to 63.3 percent in 2015, the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Yonhap)