For the first time since statistics were compiled… 26,000 fewer people in a year
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Among married women with children this year, the number of full-time workers decreased by 26,000 in one year. It is the first time since statistics were compiled that the number of married women with children in a relatively stable job, a regular job, has decreased. It is analyzed that the female employment market, which has been hit directly by COVID-19, has not fully recovered. As the number of women avoiding or delaying marriage increased, the number of women with career interruptions also decreased.
According to the ‘Employment Index of Women by Child in the First Half of 2021 Regional Employment Survey (additional item)’ released by the National Statistical Office on the 23rd, as of April, there were 2.6 million married women aged 15 to 54 living with children under the age of 18. This is a decrease of 6,000 people compared to the previous year. Compared to the decrease in the number of employed people (155,000 people), which was five times the average decrease of the three-year average (-29,000 people) just before last year, the decrease has decreased, but it is still not recovering to the pre-COVID-19 level.
Among married women with children, the number of regular workers also decreased by 26,000 to only 1,637,000. It is the first time since statistics were compiled in 2016 that the number of regular workers decreased compared to the previous year. This seems to be due to the fact that the labor market has recovered mainly for simple laborers and the cold wave of employment in other occupations has continued. Among married women with children, the number of simple labor workers increased by 17,000 compared to the previous year, while the number of professionals and related workers decreased by 27,000 and service workers and office workers by 24,000 and 19,000, respectively. Kim Kyung-hee, head of employment statistics at Statistics Korea, said, “It is unlikely that the increased number of simple laborers will be included in regular employment.”
The number of women with career interruptions was 1,448,000, a decrease of 57,000 (-3.8%) from the previous year. As a result, the ratio of career interrupted women to married women aged 15 to 54 also fell 0.2 percentage points to 17.4%. The number of women with career interruptions is on a steady decline as the number of women who avoid marriage or childbirth has decreased. By age, the 30-39 age group accounted for the most with 655,000 (45.2%), followed by 40-49 years old (579,000 people, 40.0%), 50-54 years old (138,000 people, 9.6%), and 15- 29 years old (75,000 people, 5.2%) appeared in that order. The proportion of women in their 40s with career interruption continues to grow in the order of 2018 (35.8%), 2019 (37.4%), and 2020 (38.6%). It is analyzed that this is due to an increase in the age group that jumps into full-fledged childcare as the age of women at first marriage and childbirth are delayed.
The employment rate of married women living with their children was 56.2%, up 0.7 percentage points from the previous year. The employment rate of all married women also rose by 1 percentage point to 61.1%. The increase in the employment rate is the result of a decrease in the population aged 15 to 54 due to aging, a decrease in the number of married women due to avoidance of marriage, and a decrease in the total number of denominators.