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S. Korea's older senior employment rate tops OECD countries

All News 10:38 June 02, 2018

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's proportion of employed older seniors was the highest among countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that of young people remained at the bottom due to the country's low social safety net and the tightened job market, a report showed Saturday.

According to the report by the OECD, the employment rate for those aged 75 and older in South Korea stood at 18.1 percent in 2016, topping the list of 16 OECD countries with available data. South Korea has retained the No. 1 position since 2012.

Mexico came in next with 15.3 percent, followed by Japan with 8.7 percent. Spain had the lowest at 0.2 percent.

Moreover, the OECD report showed that South Korea's employment rate for seniors 65 years old or older reached 30.7 percent in 2016, putting it second after Iceland with 40.4 percent. The OECD average was 14.1 percent in the cited year.

However, the country's ranking in the employment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 24 -- dropped to 28th out of 35 OECD members in 2016, with 27.2 percent.

The rate is far lower than the OECD average of 41.1 percent. Iceland and Luxemburg tied for first with 87.3 percent.

Experts said the employment rate difference in age groups is driven by South Korea's lax retirement pension system, which forces seniors to earn money even after retirement. Also, a protracted economic recovery means there is a lack of decent jobs for young job seekers.

"Elderly people try to get a job as a way to prepare for retirement," said Kim Yoo-sun from the Korea Labor and Society Institute. "The number of jobs for young people is decreasing."

S. Korea's older senior employment rate tops OECD countries - 1


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