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Korea last in OECD in female graduate employment

Jan. 20, 2013 - 20:08 By Korea Herald
South Korea’s employment rate of female college graduates ranked at the bottom among a group of the world’s advanced nations, with the country having the largest difference between employment rates for men and women, data showed Sunday.

According to the data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only 60.1 percent of college-educated South Korean women were employed as of 2011, marking the lowest rate among 33 OECD member nations.

Turkey was second from the bottom, with an employment rate of 64.4 percent, while Mexico, Italy, Greece and the United States all had over 70 percent.

South Korea had the widest employment rate gap of 29 percentage points between male and female graduates, the data added. The country is the only one who had a gap of more than 20 percentage points.

The OECD data also showed that South Korea’s women part-timers accounted for 27.7 percent of the country’s entire female workforce, topping the OECD list of 22 countries with such data available. The OECD average was 12.5 percent.

According to the Korea Women’s Development Institute (KWDI), the number of female temporary workers in South Korea reached 2.9 million in 2011, up a whopping 74.5 percent from 1.6 million in 1990. However, the number of male part-time workers jumped 38.6 percent over the same period, added the KWDI.

It said many South Korean female workers aged over 30 have to quit their jobs due to marriage, childbirth and child-rearing.

Indeed, the number of full-time women workers aged between 25 and 29 recorded nearly 821,000, while the number of those between 30 and 34 dropped to 634,000, according to the KWDI.

“In order to improve the quality of female employment, the government should come up with measures to reduce part-time jobs for women and help women remain at their workplaces after having children,” said an official from the KWDI. (Yonhap News)