No. 78 / May 2008 HOME minjk@kli.re.kr  
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  Labor Trends
Total Employment and Labor Force

The labor force was at 23,852 thousands in the first quarter of 2008, 160 thousands(0.7%) higher than a year ago. By gender, male labor force rose by 90 thousands(0.6%) to 13,981 thousands, and female labor force by 70 thousands(0.7%) to 9,871 thousands.

The labor force participation rate stood at 60.5% in the first quarter, decreased by 0.3 percentage points from the rate observed a year ago.

The employment rate stood at 58.5% in the first quarter, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from a year earlier. By gender, employment rate for men stood at 70.0%, decreased by 0.2 percentage points from a year ago, and the rate for women was same as a year ago (47.5%).

Total employment was at 23,051 thousands in the first quarter, increased by 209 thousands employees (0.9%) than a year earlier. By gender, male employment rose by 133 thousands(1.0%) to 13,459 thousands, and female employment by 77 thousands(0.9%) to 9,592 thousands.


The number of the unemployed in the first quarter was 801 thousands, a drop of 50 thousands(-5.9%) from a year ago. The unemployment rate stood at 3.4% in the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

Employment Trends by Industry

When compared to a year ago, industries that added jobs in the first quarter are business/ personal/ public services (327 thousands or 4.4 %) and electricity/ transportation/communication/finance (22 thousands or 0.9 %). However, those industries that lost jobs in February 2008 are agriculture/ forestry/ fishing (-62 thousands or -4.3%). wholesale&retail trade/ hotels&restaurants (-37 thousands or -0.6%), construction (-37 thousands or -0.6%), and manufacturing(-24 thousands or -0.6%).

Job Growth by Employment Status

As for job growth by employment status, the number of non-wage earners fell to 7,097 thousands in the first quarter of 2008. This is a decrease of 102 thousands(-1.4%) from a year ago. In the same period, the number of wage earners rose by 312 thousands(2.0%) to 15,954 thousands.

Among wage earners, the number of regular workers rose by 435 thousands(5.2%), while those of temporary workers and daily workers fell by 99 thousands(-1.9%) and 24 thousands (1.2%).

Industrial Disputes

A total of 16 strikes occurred from the 1st of January to the 25th of March 2008. The corresponding number of occurrence observed during the same period in 2007 was 17. The number of lost working days rose by 240.6% from 44,080 days in March 2007 to 150,139 days in March 2008.

The e-labor News is the monthly electronic newsletter of the Engea Labor Institute (KLI)
It brings you monthly summaries of our events. publication and reports of the KLI. For more information, please contact: Min-Jeong Kim

(Tel: +82-44-287-6092, Fax: +82-44-287-6099)
e-mail: minjk@kli.re.kr