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Number of 'short-time workers' in S. Korea hits new high in May

SEJONG -- The number of "short-time workers" in South Korea reached an all-time high in May amid increasing labor costs, a report showed Tuesday.

A total of 1.56 million employees in Asia's fourth-largest economy worked fewer than 15 hours per week, according to the report released by Rep. Choo Kyung-ho of the main opposition People Power Party.

It was the largest monthly tally since the government began tracking related data in January 2000.

The number of short-timer employees, or those who work fewer than 15 hours per week, has remained in the 1-million range since March 2018.

The lawmaker attributed the surge to employers' preference to hire short-time workers amid a steep increase in the country's minimum wage during the Moon Jae-in government.

In May, the number of employed people rose by 619,000 from a year earlier, of which 302,000 were short-time workers.

Rep. Choo called on the government to ramp up efforts to create more good-quality jobs instead of focusing on increasing the number of the employed. (Yonhap)