Stats show women employed in record number but mostly in temporary positions

SEJONG-- Women landed a record number of jobs in July, according to statistics Friday that also showed they were working in low-quality jobs and suspending their careers to raise a family.

Statistics Korea said 11.48 million women were employed as of July, up 181,000 from the same month last year. This is the highest figure since the agency started to produce separate employment data for men and women in 1982.

By comparison, 15.43 million men had jobs in July, up 131,000.

The increase in employment for women was higher than that for men for the fifth month in July.

Details indicated, however, that the types of jobs that women got were temporary positions. Approximately 5.09 million people were working on contracts of one month to one year as of July, with roughly 3.07 million, or 26.8 percent of all workers, were women. Men holding such jobs reached 2.02 million, or 13.1 percent.

If daily workers, people contracted for shorter than a month, are included, the ratio goes up to 31.7 percent for women and to 19.6 percent for men.

The proportion of regular workers, whose job contract is for more than a year, was 45.1 percent for women and 53.1 percent for men.

By age group, 23.8 percent of working women were aged between 40 and 49. Corresponding numbers were 22.7 percent for the 50-59 age group, 18.8 percent for the 30-39 group and 17.2 percent for the 20-29 group. The number for people 60 and over was 16.2 percent.

Compared with men, the number of workers was higher for women in the 20-29 and over 60 age groups, a phenomenon that indicates that women are out of the job market during child-rearing years. Many Korean women start to have children in their late 20s and their 30s.

"The reason why the employment rate for women is relatively low except in the 20s and over 60s group is because of the career suspension," a Statistics Korea official said. "The rate is high in the 20s group because women start their careers earlier than men who have to take time off for mandatory military service."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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