Ratio of young workers at manufacturing halved over 20 years: FKI
Manufacturing workforce in Korea aging faster than those in US, Japan
Published : Oct 26, 2022 - 15:48
Updated : Oct 26, 2022 - 15:55

The working population of the manufacturing industry in South Korea is aging faster than those in the US and Japan, showed research published Wednesday by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a local organization representing businesses.

According to the research of Korean manufacturing industry workers from 2001 to 2021, the ratio of young workers, aged 15 to 29, dropped from 29.7 percent in 2011 to 14.8 percent in 2021.

Also, the ratio of workers in their 30s decreased from 33.9 percent to 26.4 percent during that same period.

On the other hand, the ratio of those older than 50 nearly tripled to 31.9 percent in 2021 from 11 percent in 2001.

In the last 10 years, the average age of manufacturing workers in South Korea rapidly increased to 43 in 2021 from 39.2 in 2011.

Their aging rates were found to be much faster in the US and Japan, according to the FKI.

Its research shows the average age of manufacturing workers in Japan slightly rose to 43.1 in 2021 from 41.6 in 2011, and in the US, 44.2 from 44.1 during the same period.

At this rate, the average age of South Korean manufacturing workers will be higher than Japan by this year, and higher than the US by 2025, says the local business lobby.

“The biggest challenge of an aging working population is the rate of increase in labor costs is faster than the rate of increase in labor productivity,” an official from the FKI pointed out.

By Hong Yoo (