- Definition of Informal Economy        7
- Globalization and Informalization        10
- The Process of Industrialization in East Asia & its Characteristics        13
- Informal Employment in the Context of East Asia        28
- Legal Rights and Working Conditions of Workers in Informal Employment        51
- Case Study: The Reality of Women Workers        64
- Conclusion        73
- References        76

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An Analysis of Determinants in Female Labor Market Participation KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 15:07:15, 조회 : 490

An Analysis of Determinants in Female Labor Market Participation / by Taehong Kim  
/ KWDI Research Reports/Women's Studies Forum, Vol.17 / December 2001  

* This article modifies and summarizes Chapter 2 of Change of Female Employment Structure and Policy Directions(2000).

Taehong Kim, Senior Fellow


  Female labour market participation has been gradually increasing since 1963. However, the changes in female labor market participation show differences according to age, marital status, and household type. In Korea, various studies have been conducted on the determinants of female labor market participation in the 1990s. However, these studies concentrated on specific years and the results of the studies were different due to the use of different estimation models or explanatory variables. Accordingly, it has been difficult to judge what are the major determinants in female labor market participation and how these determinants influence the participation rate. In this article, I have analyzed the structure and trends of   female labor market participation rates, determinants and the degrees of influence of the determinants during the mid 1980s to 1990s considering the limitations mentioned above.


A. Long-term Trends in Labor Market Participation Rate by Sex

  An examination of look into the labor market participation rate beginning with 1963 reveals it was 56.6% in 1963, 57.6% in 1970, 59.0% in 1980, 60.6% in 1990 and 62.2% in 1997, right before  receiving IMF relief aid. Up through 1997, the rate has gradually increased. However in 1998 and in  1999, the rate decreased to 60.7% and 60.5% respectively. Like many other countries, the participation  rate in Korea shows a big difference according to sex. The male participation rate decreased constantly from 78.9% in 1963 to 72.1% in the mid 80s. After 1986, the male participation rate recovered a little to 74.0% in 1990 and 75.6% in 1997. But in 1998, the year of large scale layoffs, the male participation  rate dropped again to 75.2% in 1998 and 74.4% in 1999. This phenomuna of continuous decline in the male participation rate is seen in advanced countries, too. This is probably because people engage in full-time employment later than in the past as the years of education have been lengthened and they are being retired earlier than in the past. Additionally, the number of working days and hours has decreased, the number of holidays and vacations have increased, and social welfare programs have expanded (Researchers hold different opinion concerning some factors. O. Ashenfelter, and R. Layard, eds. Handbook of Labor Economics, Vol. 1 (North-Holland, 1986), 3~10). In Korea, as you can see in the following analysis, the rate change has resulted from the lengthened number of years of education. More people go to college or university and the average age of male workers who enter the labor market is older than before. Therefore the participation rate of the men between 15 and 29 has decreased. However, more middle aged and elderly men participate in the labor market.

[Figure 1] Trend in Labour Market Participation Rate by Sex

  The female labor force participation rate has increased unlike that of the male rate.  It was 37.0% in 1963, 39.3% in 1970, 42.8% in 1980, 47.0% in 1990 and 49.5% in 1997. However, the female labor force participation rate has also decreased drastically in 1998 and 1999, being 47.0% and 47.4% respectively. In the late 1980s the female labor force participation rate increased the most. (It increased from 40.7% in 1984 to 47.0% in 1990, a 6.3% increase). There are two main reasons for the increase in the female participation rate. One is the changes in the structure of demands for labor, such as changes in the industrial structure which make women’s participation easier. The other is the changes in the labor supply,  such as higher educational levels, decreased birth rates, consciousness change among working women, and a better child care system(Ibid, J. Humpheries (1995),  Taehong Kim,  (1996), Jiyeon  Jang (1998),  Haesun Bae  (1995).
There are some who think the small electric appliances for household are the important factors to increase the number of working women. But some scholars think it is the result of the increased female labor force participation).  An examinination of the labor force participation rate by region reveals that the labor force participation rate of rural and urban males is almost same, although there are trivial differences by year. The change trend is similar, too. In other words, the labor force participation rate of men from both rural and urban sectors decreased between 1963 and the mid 1980s (Since 1963, it was the lowest in 1984. In 1984, the participation rate of men from the rural sector was 72.0% and that of men from the urban sector was 72.0%.) After 1984, it has gradually increased. Especially, after 1985, the men from the urban sector show a little higher participation rate than those of the men from rural sector.
If we look into the female labor force participation rate by region, the female labor force participation rate has gradually increased since 1963. In 1963, it was 41.6%, but in 1998 it became 68.2%, which was  a  26.6% increase.  The periods that showed the biggest increases in the female labor force participation rate from the rural sector were 1963~76 (15.4% point increase) and 1984~98 (15.9% point increase).  The labor force participation rate of women from the urban sector showed little difference from 1963 until 1972. However, it began to increase from 1972, being 28.9% in 1972, 44.4% in 1990 and 47.5% in 1997. The participation rate change by region after receiving the IMF relief aid in 1997 reveals the participation rate of urban sector decreased regardless of sex. In 1997, the male and female participation rate decreased from 75.2% and 47.5% to 74.6% and 44.6% respectively because of layoffs.
  Comparatively, the participation rates of the rural sector increased. Rates were 79.1% and 67.3% in 1997 but those increased to 80.2 %, and 68.2% in 1998. In other words, the large-scale layoffs caused a decrease in the labor force participation rate in the urban sector and an increase in the rural sector; the decrease of participation in the urban sector because of IMF was bigger in females that in males. In 1999, the participation rate of males from the urban sector decreased further and that of males from the rural sector increased a little. On the other hand, the participation rate of women was the opposite of men. While more women from the urban sector participated in the labor force, fewer women from the rural sector participated in the labor force(In 1999, the total labor force participation rate of the urban sector was 59.1% and that the rural sector was 73.4%. If analyze it by sex, the female labor force participation rates are 45.4% and 66.3% in the urban sector and the rural sector respectively. However, the rates of men are 73.7% and 80.3% respectively).
If we analyze the cause of fluctuations by de-composing the female labor force participation rate as rural and urban sector(As the labor force participation rates of women from the urban sector and the  rural sector are significantly different from each other, the increase and decrease of female labor force participation rates can be divided into female population structure changes between the sectors and  female labor force participation rate in the sectors. In other words, the division of the labor force participation rate by effect can be identified in the following formula.
If we divide the population (P) into the rural sector (P₁) and the urban sector (P₂), the total labor force participation rate (1fpr) can be symbolized in a formula (1). If we integrate formula (1) against time, if will be formula (2) that classifies the effect as mentioned above. From here, Pit=(Pit/Pt) after 1980, the change in female population distribution between the rural and urban sectors has played a role of decreasing the female labor force participation rate. (see Figure 2). As the ratio of the female population   is decreasing in the rural sector where the female labor force participation is relatively high, the female  population in the urban sector is increasing where the female labor force participation is relatively low.
This resulted in the female labor force participation rate constantly decreasing. However, in the late 1980s, the female labor force participation rate regardless of region has increased remarkably. Although the difference was bigger in the rural sector than urban sectors, the latter influences the total labor force participation rate more, as it occupies a high erpercentage of the population. This trend was maintained  till 1998, the year of IMF relief aid. After 1998, both the component ratio effect and the participation rate effect have changed negatively.

B. Labor Force Participation Rate by Age

The traditional statistics that reveal the sex differences are found in the "labor force participation rate curve by age" which shows that men enter the labor market in their 20s. By the time they are 29, most men engage in economic activities which will be maintained until they are 50, the retirement age. After 50, the rate decreases drastically, so the appearance of the male participation rate becomes is a plateau.  The male participation rate curve by age like a plateau does not show a big difference from 1980. However, as more and more men go to university or college and graduate school, the participation of men between 15 to 29 has decreased constantly (In Korea and Japan, to enter university or college, one should dedicate oneself to the examination preparation. Therefore, the increase of the rate of those going to college leads to decreased of labor force participation rate. Taehong Kim (1996)). Consequently, the male  labor force participation rate between 15 and 19 decreased from 27.3% in 1980 to 8.6% in 1997.  Comparatively, more males over 55 have participated in the labor force from 1985.
[Figure 2] Factors Influencing the Female Labor Force Participation Rate The Korean female labor force participation rate curve is the M shape or twin peak type indicating a exit from the labor market because of marriage and child rearing and a return to the market after rearing the children. In the period from 1985 to 1990, when the female labor force participation rate increased dramatically, all age segments except 15 to 19 shifted upward. The participation rate of females from 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 and over 60 increased remarkably. The increase in those age segments influences the female labor force participation rate increase more compared to other age segments. However during the same period, the population structure change effect (The effect that female population structure change by age segment has on the female labor force participation rate) acts negatively on the participation rate(The influence of the labor force participation rate because of population structure change by age segment under the same circumstances was -.0.15%  point, -0.18%  point, -0.02  point, -0.03%  point and 0.19% point in  1985~86, 1986~87, 1987~88, 1988~89 and 1989~90 respectively). Between 1990 and 1997, the  participation rate of the women between 15 and 19 has decreased constantly and that of 25~29 and 40~44 have increased a lot.

[Table 1] Changes in Female Labor Force Participation Rate by Year and Age
                                                                            Unit: %
|     | 15~19   20~24   25~29   30~34   35~39   40~44   45~49   50~54   55~59  60+  |
|1963 | 37.4    43.6    36.4    39.4    41.8    48.6    45.1    38.7    32.7   10.8 |
|1970 | 44.1    47.1    34.6    38.3    42.7    47.0    46.5    41.2    37.1   14.7 |
|1980 | 34.4    53.5    32.0    40.7    53.0    57.0    57.3    54.0    46.2   17.0 |
|1985 | 21.1    55.1    35.9    43.6    52.9    58.2    59.2    52.4    47.2   19.2 |
|1990 | 18.7    64.6    42.5    49.5    57.9    60.7    63.9    60.0    54.4   26.4 |
|1995 | 14.5    66.1    47.8    47.5    59.2    66.0    61.1    58.3    54.3   28.9 |
|1997 | 13.0    66.4    54.1    50.9    60.4    67.1    62.3    58.1    54.1   30.3 |  
|1998 | 12.0    61.0    51.8    47.3    58.5    63.5    61.5    55.2    51.0   28.1 |
|1999 | 11.8    60.8    52.3    48.2    58.6    63.1    62.8    55.5    51.3   29.4 |
Source: National Statistical  Office (of  the year), Annual  Report on  The Economically    
        Population Survey  

  In the twin peak curve (M-shaped curve), the labor force participation rate dropped from the first peak  (about 20~24) until 1990. But after 1990, the average age of first marriage became higher, and the first exit of the working women occurred in 30~34 since 1995. Additionally, the decrease after the first peak has become gradually smaller. If we compare the first peak and the second peak in the M-shaped curve, the difference between the peaks is getting bigger as the participation rate of 40~45 has been dropping after 1990. In 1998, the participation rate of 20~24 dropped drastically because of IMF and layoffs, so the two peaks became similar. The participation rate of women over 60 is increasing gradually.
In females, there are different characteristics between the labor force participation curve of the urban sector and that of the rural sector. Accordingly, I have reviewed the female participation rate curve by age in the urban sector and the rural sector. First, women’s participation rate curve in the urban sector is the twin peak curve (M-shaped curve) showing the first peak in 20~24 and the second peak in the 40~44 age brackets. The first peak is always higher than the second peak.  If in the urban sector, we compare women’s participation rate curve by age in 1980 with that in 1997, the participation rate of the 15~19 age bracket decreased a lot while the older age segmen t’s participation rate increased dramatically. The decrease of the 15~19 age bracket resulted from university or college education. The age bracket that shows the biggest increase in participation rate is 25~29, which increased from 27.0% in 1980 to 53.9% in 1997.
This is probably because fewer women chose to exit owing to marriage or delivery and the average age of the marriage and the first delivery shifted from 25~29 to 30~34(In major advanced countries, the decrease of the labor force participation rate of women because of marriage and delievery is being mitigated). Because of delayed marriage and delivery, the lowest peak of the curve in 1997 shifted from 25~29 to 30~34.
Additionally, the participation rate of 40~44 increased from 44.8% in 1980 to 65.5%. The second peak was nearly as high as the first peak. Regardless of the increase in the female labor force participation rate, the increase in 20~24 and over 60 was relatively low. (They were 52.8% and 8.8% in 1980 and 1997 66.3% and 20.0% in 1997 respectively.).

[Figure 3] Women’s Participation Rate Curve by Age Group in Urban Sector

  The women’s participation rate curve in the rural sector is different from that of women in the urban sector, although it is an M-shaped curve, too. The participation rate of women in the 20~24 bracket is similar to that of the urban sector. However, 85~90% of the women in the second peak (40s and 50s) in the curve were working as of 1997. This means that most women in their 40s and 50s in the rural sector are participating in labor. Especially the participation rate of the women over 60 in the rural sector drastically much from 25.2% in 1980 to 61.7% in 1997, 36.5% increase, which means that the labor force in the rural sector is getting older. Besides, the participation rate of the women in their 50s increased rapidly, about 20%.
  The other characteristics of the women’s labor force participation rate curve in the rural sector is the lowest peak of the M-shaped curve. Between 1980~85, the participation rate in the first peak (20~24) is same as that in the lowest peak (25~29).
Strictly speaking, we cannot say that it is a M-shaped curve. The M-shaped curve appeared from 1990. Even here, fewer women left the labor market because of marriage and delivery than in the urban sector. Additionally, in the rural sector, the participation rate of women in their 20s has increased remarkably but those in their 30s do not show a big difference.

C. Labor Force Participation Rate by Marital Status

  The labor force participation rate according to marital status, shows that married men have maintained a rate around 88.0% from 1980 until 1997. But the participation rate of single men has decreased from 52.4% in 1980. It was 43.5% in 1985 and 43.7% in 1990. Of course, the participation rate of single men has increased from 1990, becoming 49.6% in 1995 and around 49% from then on.
The participation rate of single women has shown a continuous decrease from 1980 (50.8%), like single men, dropping to 46.5% in 1990. But in the beginning of the 1990s, it recovered again and in the late 1990s it has maintained the level of 1995. Married women showed a big increase from 1985 to 1990. In the 1990s it was increasing a little before the IMF financial crisis. Conclusively, the participation rate of singles, regardless of sex, decreased in the 1980s but recovered in the beginning of the 1990s. In contrast, other hand the participation rate of married men did not show much difference from that of 1980. But that of married women increased dramatically in the late 1980s(In major advanced countries, such as the USA. Canada, England, and Germany, the continuous increase of female labor force participation rate is due to that of the married women O. Ashenfelter and R. Layard, eds.(1986), 104~107).
Analysis shows that the female labor force participation rate increase in the period of 1985~1990 resulted from female population structural changes due to marital status or due to the actual increase of participation of women regardless of their marital status. According to the analysis, although the component ratio of married women has increased since 1985 because of the decrease of young women, the population structure effect according to marital status seems to be trivial because there is not much difference in women’s participation by marital status.

[Table 2] Trend of Labor Force Participation Rate b Sex and Marital Status
                                                                           Unit: %
|       |                Male                 |                Female               |
|       +-----------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-----------+
|       | Unmarried |  Married   |    Total   | Unmarried  |   Married  |   Total   |
| 1980  |   52.4    |    88.3    |    76.4    |    50.8    |    40.0    |   42.8    |
| 1985  |   43.5    |    86.8    |    72.3    |    44.7    |    41.0    |   41.9    |
| 1990  |   43.7    |    88.4    |    74.0    |    46.5    |    47.2    |   47.0    |
| 1995  |   49.6    |    88.8    |    76.5    |    50.4    |    47.6    |   48.3    |
| 1996  |   49.5    |    88.4    |    76.1    |    49.5    |    48.5    |   48.7    |
| 1997  |   49.5    |    88.0    |    75.6    |    49.3    |    49.5    |   49.5    |
| 1998  |   48.5    |    86.8    |    75.2    |    46.0    |    47.3    |   47.0    |
| 1999  |   49.1    |    85.5    |    74.4    |    45.9    |    47.9    |   47.4    |
Source: National Statistical Office (1998), Annual Report on The Economically Active Population  
Survey: 1963~1997; National Statistical Office (1999), Labor Force Population Survey, raw data set

However, as the labor force participation rate of married women occupies a bigger part of the population that increased between 1985 and 1990, they contributed much to the increased participation rate of women in the late 1980s. But between 1990 and 1993, single women contributed to the actual increase and between 1994 and 1997, married women contributed more to the actual increase again. An examination of the factors that influence the female labor force participation rate in 1998 and 1999  shows that the female labor force participation rate increased as a component ratio of married women due to the high participation rate increase in 1998. But if we examine the female labor force participation rate by marital status, that  of the singles and the married decreased respectively.
Accordingly, the decrease in 1998 resulted from the decrease in married women working. This is because although the decrease rate itself is smaller than that of singles, the component ratio of thepopulation is bigger.  In 1999, the labor force participation rate is converted into an increasing trend focusing on singles.

D. Male and Female Labor Force Participation Rate by Education

An examination of the female labor force participation rate by education, reveals that college graduates have the highest rate and university graduates, high school graduates, and under middle school graduates follow. The change trend of the participation rate indicates that the female labor force participation rate has a large increase between 1985 of 1990 regardless of  a woman? education level. Between 1990 and  1997, the participation rate all women groups except under middle school graduates increases.
Especially, university graduates show the highest growth. But in 1998, when Korea experienced economic depression and received IMF funds, the participation rate of women university graduates decreased greatly (-4.3% point) but the under middle school graduate segment showed a relatively low decrease. The reason why it shows a smaller decrease is that many of  the  these persons were working as unpaid workers in agricultural sector and were less influenced by the economic depression.
The participation rate of males, shows a big difference in participation rate according to education. While 90% of college graduates and university graduates participate in the labor force, only 80% of high school graduates and 60% of middle school graduates or under participate in the labor force. Since 1985, there was a small increase from 1985 to 1990 except for university graduates. In 1998, all the segments show a decrease. The reason why they show a smaller decrease regardless of the economic depression in 1998 seems that the laid off male employees remain as an unemployed labor force rather than turning into a non-labor force (As the result of unemployment analysis also shows that there is a difference of the  probability of transition from employment to unemployment and from employment to non-labor force  according to sex in 1998).
The male and female labor force participation rate change factors can be divided into structure effect (effect of the increases when a highly participating group is increasing) and participation rate effect (effect of the participation rate increases in each educational levels). First, the structure effect in the changes of female labor force participation rate, shows that since 1985 more females have finished college and university. Accordingly, even though the female labor force participation rate has not changed,  the female population structure change according to education has yielded a 0.1% point annual increase  of the labor force participation rate continuously.  
However, the major factor to increase the female labor force participation rate was the increases of female labor force participation rate in each education level. That is, the reason why the female labor force participation rate from 1985 to 1990 dramatically increased is due to the increased female labor force participation rate in the under middle school graduates segment. The increase in the 1990s is mainly owing to the increase of the female labor force participation rate in the high school graduate segment.   In 1998, the female labor force participation rate decreased a lot mainly because the female labor force participation rate decreased in the high school graduate segment and under middle school graduate segment, both of which occupy a high portion of population. However, the portion of college and university graduates in the population has increased, which mitigates this participation rate change (According to the education level of the female population, 51.3% are under middle school graduates, 37.0% are high school graduates, 4.8% are college graduates and 6.9% are university graduates as of 1997).

[Table 3] Labor Force Participation Rate Change by Sex and Education Level
                                                                           Unit: %
|     |                Men                  |                 Women                 |
|     +--------+--------+--------+----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+
|     |  Under |  High  |        |   Over   |  Under  |  High   |        |   Over   |
|     | Middle | School |College |University| Middle  | School  | College|University|
|     | School |Graduate|Graduate| Graduate | School  | Graduate|Graduate| Graduate |
|     |Graduate|        |        |          |Graduate |         |        |          |
|1985 |  61.1  |  77.1  |  89.3  |   93.5   |  39.5   |  42.1   |  60.8  |   46.3   |
|1990 |  63.2  |  80.0  |  93.4  |   93.2   |  45.6   |  47.5   |  66.1  |   53.1   |
|1995 |  62.3  |  81.2  |  94.2  |   93.9   |  44.6   |  50.2   |  63.5  |   57.9   |
|1996 |  61.2  |  80.9  |  93.4  |   93.4   |  44.2   |  50.9   |  65.6  |   59.6   |
|1997 |  60.5  |  81.0  |  94.6  |   91.8   |  44.4   |  52.0   |  68.1  |   61.0   |
|1998 |  58.4  |  80.0  |  93.3  |   90.6   |  42.4   |  48.4   |  65.0  |   56.7   |
|1999 |  57.8  |  79.2  |  93.0  |   88.3   |  42.9   |  48.7   |  63.9  |   56.6   |
Source: National Statistical Office (each year), Annual Report on The Economically Active Population Survey, Raw material

  In 1998, the labor force participation rate itself decreased a lot. Therefore the female participation rate decreased drastically, regardless of population structure effect. In 1999, as the participation rate improved, especially in the low-education segment, it improved the labor force participation rate with a concomitant population structure effect. The labor force participation rate of low education females will increase due to the increase employment opportunities as temporay and casual workers in 2000. But in the mid to long term point of view, it will decrease from late 2000 because the middle school graduate population will be  older (The female population in the under middle school graduate segment was 5,109,000 as of 1995 according to the census. According to age group as of 2000, the number over 65 years of age is 920,000 (18%), 60~64 is 634,000, and 55~59 is 686,000 of middle school graguates or under are over 50 as of 2000. If the present educational trend continues and the death rate of middle school graduates does not increase rapidly, it is expected that the portion of the middle school graduates will increase from currently 18% to 30~40% at the end of 2000).
On the contrary, the structure effect and participation rate effect are similar in males. That is, the male labor force participation rate change is greatly influenced by the change in the portion of university and college graduates: 50% of male labor force participation rate increase in from 1985 to 1990 was due to the actual increase of the male labor force participation rate and remaining 50% was due to the increase of the portion of university and college graduates. In 1990s the actual rate of male labor force participation decreased. But the participation rate increased if we add the structure effect and participation rate effect together, because the participation rate increase was significantly high due to the change of the portion of university and college graduates.
Comparatively, in the late 1990s the population effect was relatively small. Therefore male labor force participation rate showed a decreasing trend.


A. Estimation Model

  We need to analyze the labor force participation model to identify the determinants and their level of influence. The major factors that influence female labor force participation were analyzed using the  model that explains the participation as the relationship between market wage and reservation wage, that is equation (1-1).   In equation (1-1), T is the variable showing whether a person participates in the labor market.
  If he/she participates in the labor market, it is 1. Otherwise it is 0. wm and wr represent market wage and reservation wage and x and y are explanatory variables that decide market wages and reservation wages respectively. In ε0i=(εli-ε2i), if ε0i shows normal distribution where average is 0 and  variance is σ0i, Equation (1-1) that shows the probability that an individual will participate in the  labor force can be represented as a probit model like Equation (1-2).
  Let us assume that we have “n” samples and “m” out of “n” participated in the labor force and the rest of “n-m” did not participate. The likelihood that we can observe the samples is like Equation (2-1) and index estimation of the variable that explains labor force participation is done by applying maximum likelihood method to Equation (2-2). The first-order condition of the Equation (2-2) is like Equation (2-3).

We analyzed the three years (1985, 1992, and 1997) to discover the factors that influence female labor force participation rate and their level of influence, using the same explanatory variables in estimating Labor Force Participation Model of all three years to make comparison possible (see Table 4 for the explanatory variables used in the analysis) (The local female labor demand variable is divided as high and low according to the third industry component ratio. If it is higher than the nation average, the area is sorted as high, otherwise it is sorted as low. There was another explanatory variable besides those used in the analysis. This was the attitude of husbands' toward the working wives. But they asked this question only of employees, with the unemployed and non-labor force hoping to work.
Therefore, I did not use this variable as an explanatory variable in this article).  The date for the analysis came from the first, second, and third “Female Employment Status Survey” by KWDI (I used to scope and target of survey from first, second, and third survey (1986, 1992, 1997). The survey items were referred to the third Survey of KWDI). According to the National Statistical Office, the labor force participation rate of the married women has increased a lat from 41.0% in 1985 to 47.0% in 1992, and in 1997, it increased to 49.5%. That is, the labor force participation rate of married women has increased dramatically. Generally, most married women in the rural sector are participating in the labor force as non-wage earning workers. Accordingly, if they want to, they can be employed. It is relatively easy to manage labor activity and housework or child nurturing. The distance between work and house is relatively short. Therefore, the factors influencing the labor force participants in the rural sector can be different from those in the urban sector.
Accordingly, some researchers analyze the labor force participation of women not as binary choice (whether to work or not) but as multiple choice (working as paid workers, working as unpaid family workers, and non-working). In this article, I included the married women in the urban sector only because of the characteristics of the female labor force in the rural sector and the decrease of the married women in rural sector with the decrease of the rural sector in 1997. According to KWDI's Employment Status Survey, the labor force participation rate of the married women was 41.7% in 1985, 42.7% in 1992, and 44.7% in 1997).

[Table 4] Explanatory Variables used in Analysis
|    Type of Variable     |                       Description                       |
|                |        |- It shows that they are high school graduates           |
|                |Dedu1   |- If he/she is high school graduates, it will be 1       |
|                |        |  otherwise, it will be 0                                |
|Education       +--------+---------------------------------------------------------+
|                |        |- It shows that they graduated from college or over      |
|                |Dedu2   |- If he/she is college school graduates, it will be 1    |
|                |        |  otherwise; it will be 0                                |
|Age             |Age     |- Sequential variable representing age (15 to 64 years)  |
|                |Agesq   |- Square of the age variable (Age X Age)                 |
|Experience      |Exp     |- It shows total experience after 15 years old           |
|                |        |  ※ It is achieved through retrospective method         |
|Children under 6|Ch6     |- It shows whether there is a child under 6              |
|                |        |- If yes, it will be 1; otherwise, it will be 0          |
|Incoem of other |        |- Income of the other household members except the       |
|members in the  |Oincome |  respondent (Unit: 10,000 won)                          |
|household       |        |  ※(Total income of the household - Income of the       |
|                |        |     respondent)                                         |
|Whether has     |Dmar    |- It shows whether one has spouse or not                 |
|spouse          |        |- If yes, it will be 1; otherwise, it will be 0          |
|Local demand on |Fdem    |- It shows the local demand for female labor             |
|female labor    |        |- If high, it will be 1; otherwise, it will be 0         |

B. Results of Analysis on Determinants of Labor Force participation Rate

  The function to estimate the labor force participation of the married women can be seen in [Table 5].  The estimation results of the labor force participation model of married women show that, most of the explanatory variables seem to be significant.
When the explanatory variables are examined one by one, the dummy variable showing education level was found to be statistically significant in a negative sign in 1985 and 1992. However, in 1997 the estimation coefficient education variables were all positive numbers. Especially, the estimation index of university graduate dummy variable showed statistically significant results in positive direction.   Generally speaking, if one’s education level is high, one can earn higher market wages. But a high education level also raises the value per hour of housework and the reservation wages, which lowers the participation rate. But in most of the preceding studies, the education level raises the labor force participation rate (According to Taehong Kim (1998), the education variable makes a statistically significant influence the female labor force participation rate in a negative direction. In this analysis, I estimated firstly the wage equation after correcting the problem of selectivity bias. Then, I estimate female participation equation with independent variable that are determainants of the reservation wage  (for examples, the presence of children with 6 years and under, the number of family, education level, etc.) and market wage derived from estimated wage equation. In Korea the education variable influences the female labor force participation rate in both directions. Therefore there are many studies that say the education variable is statistically meaningless or the sign of the estimation coefficient is negative).
  According to the estimation of the education variable, high school graduate married women show 13.5% less participation rate than middle school graduate married women assuming other conditions are the same (Marginal effect of the explanatory variable can be calculated through Formula (2-3). University graduate married women show an in significant 4.5% less participation rate than middle school graduate married women. In 1992, the gap between high school graduates and middle school graduates was lessening.
The participation rate of high school graduate married women was 5.4% lower than that of the middle school graduate married women. However the gap between the middle school graduate married women and university graduate married women became wider. The participation rate of university graduate married women was 8.9% lower than that of middle school graduate married women. But in 1997, the participation rate of university graduate married women was higher than that of high school or middle school graduate married women, being 10.5% higher than that of middle school graduate married women. But the estimation result of the high school graduate dummy variable was not significant statistically. The estimation result shows the influence of the education level of married women on the female labor force participation rate has changed a lot since 1985. That is, in 1985 and 1992, the higher the education of married women, the more their reservation increased over the market wage.  
Therefore the labor force participation rate of middle school graduates is higher than that of high school graduates or university graduates. But in 1997, the market wage increase exceeded the reservation wage increase. Therefore, the more they were educated, the higher was their participation in the labor force participation.  Additionally, an examination of the component ratio of the female population over 15, shows that the component ratio of high school and college graduates was growing continuously because more and more women went on to higher studies. (Refer to Appendix [Table 1]) (According to the Female Employment Status Survey, 16.1% of the women in the urban sector in 1992 was college graduates, and it increased into 19.0% in 1997. But the average of the dummy variable of college and university graduate married women included in the explanatory variable dropped to 13.6% in 1997. This was because the survey missed a portion of females who were over college graduates).  Accordingly, it seems that the high education level of the female population influenced the labor force participation rate negatively in 1985~1992 but positively in 1992~1997.

[Table 5] Estimation of Yearly Labor Force Participation Factors
|              |        1985          |        1992          |        1997          |
|              +------------+---------+------------+---------+------------+---------+
|              | Estimates  | t-value | Estimates  | t-value | Estimates  | t-value |
|Intercept     | -2.5376*** | -6.764  | -3.0036*** | -5.977  | -2.2740*** | -4.842  |
|Dedu1         | -0.3567*** | -5.906  | -0.1388**  | -1.924  |  0.0549    |  0.802  |
|Dedu2         | -0.1159    | -1.093  | -0.2307*** | -2.418  |  0.2856*** |  3.006  |
|Age           |  0.1744*** |  9.472  |  0.1866*** |  7.667  |  0.1386*** |  6.425  |
|Agesq         | -0.0025*** |-11.457  | -0.0026*** | -9.153  | -0.0020*** | -8.241  |
|Exp           |  0.0662*** | 16.156  |  0.0597*** | 13.909  |  0.0440*** | 12.628  |
|Ch6           | -0.3382*** | -5.252  | -0.2827*** | -3.956  | -0.5456*** | -7.206  |
|Oincome       | -0.0062*** | -7.552  | -0.0014*** | -3.915  | -0.0016*** | -6.054  |
|Dmar          | -0.3682*** | -4.014  | -0.3912*** | -3.145  | -0.1848**  | -1.916  |
|Fdem          |  0.1548*** |  3.095  |  0.1925*** |  3.169  |  0.2338*** |  4.383  |
|Chi Squared   |       3854.30        |       2139.58        |       2424.56        |
|Number of     |        3,070         |        2,082         |        2,370         |
|Observations  |                      |                      |                      |
Note: ***, **, * are statistically significant at 0.01%, 0.05% and 0.10% respectively

The experience variable’s estimated coefficient shaws that it yielded statistically significant positive values in 1985, 1992 and 1997. That is, experience influences positively the labor force participation of married women because more experienced women can get higher market wages. However, there were small differences by year. In 1985, the participation of those with  one year of experience increased about 2.5%, in 1992 it increased 2.3% and 1.7% in 1997(The marginal effect of the experience variable was calculated based on the average years of experience).
This shows that the influence of the experience variable on the participation rate is decreasing up to present.  The same result appears in the estimation of the function to calculate the wages of working wives if we use same data (According to the estimation of the wage function, the wage increase per experience year was 0.0234 in 1992. But in has droppd to 0.0187). With this, the years of experience of married women is increasing. The life-long employment of married women has influenced much the increase in the female labor force participation rate.
  One of the major factors that influence the labor force participation rate of smarried women is whether they have children under 6.  If there is a child under 6, the reservation wage of a married woman increases. Therefore, the labor participation of a married woman in such a household is discouraged. That is, having a child under 6 influences negatively the labor force participation rate of married women. In the model estimating labor force participation of married women in Korea, the existence of a child under 6 has a significant negative influence on the participation rate. According to the estimated coefficient, married women with a child under 6 showed a 13.0% lower participation rate than those who did not have a child under 6 in 1985. The difference in the labor force participation rate was narrowed to 10.9% in 1992, but it was expanded to 20.6% in 1997. That is, the existence of a child under 6 negatively influences the labor force participation rate of married women.
  An examination of the ratio of the women with a child under 6 based on the “Female Employment Status Survey” shows that the segment has decreased from 44% in 1985 to 39.0% in 1992 and 28.0% in 1997 because of the low birth rate. The decrease of the ratio of the women with a child under 6 will positively influence the female labor force participation rate. That is to say, because of the continuous decline in the birth rate, fewer women cannot participate in the labor force because of a child under 6. However, from the perspective of the individual woman, the married woman with a child under 6 has greater difficulty participating in the labor force because of the young child.
  The estimation results of the age variable shows that the ages of married women comprises a reverse U-shape from 1985 to 1997. The labor force participation rate of married women in the urban sector increases until a certain age, and then it decreaseds. If other conditions are the same, the peak of the reverse U shape is about 35. If we analyze focusing on the samples of the average age of married women, a 1 year increase or decrease makes the participation rate increase or decrease about 1.0~1.5%.
The average age of the sampled married women, was 37.7 in 1985, 38.5 in 1992, and 40.8 in 1997 because of the lengthening of the life span. The average age increase after 1985 has lowered the labor force participation rate of the married women in the urban sector. The income of other household members except the respondents influences the labor force participation of women negatively. The same result has been achieved in the estimation of the labor force participation rate of married women for three years.
However, the negative influence of incomes made by other household members except the respondents has been weakened compared to that of 1985. That is, recently, the income of other household members does not influence as strongly as before. Additionally, whether one has a spouse or not is another variable influencing the financial status of the household. Divorced, widowed, and separated women tend to participate in the labor force because of financial needs. The spouse dummy variable negatively influenced the labor force participation of the married women in 1985, 1992, and 1997, but the influence of the spouse variable was weakened in 1997. This means that more and more married women participate in the labor force regardless of the presence of the spouse.  The other factors that influence female labor force participation are economic and social conditions.   The most representative factor is the demand for female labor.
Generally speaking, if there is high demand, the female labor force participation rate will be higher. Accordingly, I converted the service industry prosperity in the place where the married woman resides to an index and used it as proxy variable of female labor demand (Bowen and Finegan (1969) who used the Female Labor Demand Index for the first time, formulated the index through following method. Calculate the ratio of women against the total eomployees in the industry (F), multiple it by the total employees in the industry and get X. Finally, divide the sum of Xs (total sum of X of the individual industry) by the total employees in the place. In this article, I calcuated the ratio of the employees in the 3rd industry. If it is over average, the value is 1. Otherwise it is considered as 0). The estimation index of the labor demand variable, was statistically significant in a positive direction. The participation rate was high in the place of higher demand for female labor.  By year, the influence of the female labor demand index is rising each year. In 1985, the ratio of the service industry increased 10% and it increased the female labor force participation rate by about 0.58%. In 1997, it increased by 0.87% (The average of the variables that show female labor demandn index was 0.613 in 1992 and 0.488 in 1997. This was because the service component ratio dropped under the average because Incheon was converted into a manufacturing zone in that period).
  Generally, the attitude of the husband toward female labor force participation greatly influences the participation rate. In the “Female Employment Status Survey,” both the attitudes of the women themselves and their husbands were surveyed.  But only the attitudes of women were surveyed in 1985 and some of the survey questions in 1997 were different from those of 1985. Therefore, the usefulness of the data in the analysis was limited. Additionally, only the husbands of the employed and those who want to be employed were surveyed. Therefore, the utilization of the data as explanatory variables for the labor force participation model was somewhat restricted. But if the attitude of the husbands of employed women is compared to those of unemployed who hope to work, the husbands of the employed show  more positive attitude than those of the unemployed regardless of the year.
  Additionally, the ratio of the positive attitude of husbands whose wives are performing economic activities is increasing up to the present. The husbands of the non-labor force women who hope to work show fewer objections to their participation in the labor force, but the ratio of those who “Agree and Welcome” remains the same.  This shows indirectly that the change of the husbands’ attitude toward the labor force participation of the wife contributed to the participation rate increase of married women since 1985.

[Table 6] Husbands' Change of Attitude toward Working Wives
                                                                           Unit: %
|       |                      | Welcome |  Agree  | Depends |Objection |Impossible |
|       | Working Women        |   7.2   |  46.5   |  22.7   |   22.1   |   1.4     |
| 1985  +----------------------+---------+---------+---------+----------+-----------+
|       | Non-working with the |   5.0   |  46.4   |  12.4   |   30.9   |   5.3     |
|       | hope to work         |         |         |         |          |      &nb
Posted by KWWA
An Analysis on Female Employment Ratio in Korea KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 15:06:17, 조회 : 513

An Analysis on Female Employment Ratio in Korea's Manufacturing Industry / by Taehong Kim
/ KWDI Research Reports /Women's Studies Forum, Vol.8 / December 1992  

*This paper is the excerption of the 1991 Research Report 200-4 Changes in the Female Employment Ratio in Manufacturing by the KWDI research team Kim Tae-hong, Kim Young-ock, and Moon Yoo-kyung.

Kim Tae-hong (Senior Researcher, KWDI)


Recent trends in Korea's female employment ratio (the ratio of female workers compared to the total number of workers), classified by industry, show that the ratio in manufacturing industry has dropped dramatically from 46.1 percent in 1980 to 37.7 percent in 1990.
This phenomenon is particularly evident in those sectors where there is a high concentration female workers: textile and garment (a drop from 71 percent in 1980 to 62.2 percent in 1990) and electricity and electronics (from 55.5 percent to 48.5 percent). Furthermore, a sluggish increased employment rate for women and a decline in the female employment ratio are occurring simultaneously amid a labor shortage within the manufactruing industry. This has accelerated the already existing shortage of workers in the manufacturing industry which plays a driving role of economic growth in Korea. From this context, this study will analyze of female workers and the female employment ratio: as well as the effect it has had on women workers.


As of late, the rate of increased employment in the manufacturing industries, though a little lower compared with that of the early 1970's, has been steady at a level of 4 percent throughout the year. But the increasing rate of employment for female workers has decreased drastically; for the period of 1986 to 1990, the rate average was only about 1.3 percent (15 percent from 1971 to 1875, 4.2 percent from 1976 to 1980 and 2.7 percent from 1981 to 1985). Consequently, the proportion of women in the total work force dropped from 46 percent in 1980 to 37.7 percent in 1990.

Recent employment trends in such manufacturing sectors as food and beverage, paper and printing, basic metals, and machinery has shown an increase, while employment in other industries remained sluggish. When the figures are broken down by sex, the increasing rate of employment was lower for women than for men in textiles, nonferrous metals, chemical and in other miscellaneous manufacturing sectors. The remainder of industries studied showed the increasing rate to be higher for women than men. Particularly in garment and textiles, chemical related and miscellaneous classified industries, the average rate of increased employment for women showed a negative result over the last five years (1985 to 1989). As a result, the proportion of female workers in garment and textile, chemical related and miscellaneous manufacturing sectors has been showing a continuous decline (Table 1).

Table1. Yearly Female Employment Ratio by Industry
                                                             Unit : percent
      | Manufecturing  Food &     Garment &   Wood &          Paper &
      |                Beverage   Textiles    Wood Products   Printing
1970 |     45.5        40.8        70.6          24.1          25.5
1975 |     48.9        39.4        71.7          28.7          26.4
1980 |     46.0        37.7        71.0          27.9          29.1
1985 |     42.1        36.6        67.7          26.2          24.7
1986 |     42.1        36.7        66.6          25.9          23.9
1987 |     41.5        37.2        65.0          25.2          24.3
1988 |     40.5        38.8        64.2          26.1          24.1
1989 |     39.0        39.4        63.2          27.0          24.1
1990 |     37.7        38.8        62.2          27.4          24.1
      |   Chemical   Nonferrous    Basic       Machine     Miscellaneous
      |   Related     Metals       Metal       Assembly
1970 |     34.3        18.2         8.1          20.4          79.5
1975 |     40.5        21.6         5.5          33.7          65.1
1980 |     36.9        26.2         7.5          33.0          56.8
1985 |     34.8        23.5         6.8          28.9          56.8
1986 |     33.5        23.1         7.5          30.5          55.5
1987 |     32.2        22.9         6.8          31.0          54.0
1988 |     30.9        22.4         7.8          30.9          52.2
1989 |     27.8        22.0         8.4          30.1          49.8
1990 |     27.7        22.4         9.4          29.1          48.2
Source: Ministry of Labor, Report on Monthly Labor Statistics, revised yearly.

To see where the female employment ratio in manufacturing has been adversely effected, it has been broken down by sector (equation 1). In equation 1. the overall female employment ratio is shown as the sum of the female employment ratio of each sector to the total number of manufacturing workers. In this manner, one can deduce the impact of each industrial sector on the differential of the female employment ratio. Given this viewpoint, the female employment ratio of each sector and of the entire manufacturing industry can be found in equation 2. The differential of the overall female employment ratio will be the sum of each sector's differential (see equation 3).

Here, Ei is the total number workers in manufacturing industries, Efi is the number of female workers in sector i,△Ri is the degree of influence of sector i on the differential in the overall female employment ratio. Subscript i and t represent each manufacturing sector and the entire manufacturing industry respectively.
By using equation 3, one can see the effect of each sector on the differential in the overall female employment ratio in manufacturing industries(see Table 2). According a Table 2, the female employment ratio in the manufacturing industry increased by 3.423 percentage points during the period of 1971-75, but since 1976 has shown a continuous decline. It dropped 2.8277 percentage points during the period of 1976-80m 3,9839 percentage points from 1981-85, and 4.3900 percentage points from 1986-1990. Consequently, the proportion of female workers in the manufacturing industry was 45.5 percent in 1970, 48.9 percent in 1975, 46.1 percent in 1980, 42.1 percent in 1985, and 37.7 percent in 1990. When looking at the differential in the female employment ratio during the period of 1971-75, the industrial sector's which influenced the increase of the overall ratio were machine & metal, garment & textiles, and chemical related industries.
During the period of 1976-80, Korea experienced a decline in the female employment ratio in the manufacturing industry which was mainly attributed to food & beverage, garment & textiles, and other manufacturing sectors. These industries, in addition to paper & printing, were the main contributors to the decline in the female employment ratio between 1981-85. The drop during the period of 1986-90 was mainly attributed to the garment & textile, chemical related, and miscellaneous classified industries.

Hence, not only did the female employment ratio exhibit a continual decline after 1976, the drop accelerated. And this decline was mainly caused by garment & textiles, wood & wood products chemical related, nonferrous metals and miscellaneous classified industries. By the way, the female employment ratio has continuously increased in the machine & metal. More recently, a change in the employment structure in the food & beverage, paper & printing, and basic metal industries served to boost the female employment ratio Table 2. Break Down of female employment Ratio Differential by Sector                                                   unit :percentage points
                             |  1971-75    1976-80    1981-85    1986-90  
food & Beverage(△R1)      |  -0.9600    -0.3561    -0.3037     0.2570  
Garment & Textiles(△R2)   |   1.0739    -1.9127    -3.2080    -4.6367  
Wood & Wood Products((△R3)|  -0.0031    -0.1495    -0.2181    -0.0036  
Paper & Printing(△R4)     |  -0.3562     0.0967    -0.2519     0.1034  
Chemical Related(△R5)     |   0.9305    -0.7895    -0.2034    -1.2071  
Nonferrous Metal(△R6)     |  -0.2285     0.3331    -0.1127    -0.0599  
Basic Metal(△R7)          |  -0.1183     0.1024    -0.0651     0.0988  
Machine(△R8)              |   4.4199     1.5989     0.1794     1.8559  
Miscellaneous(△R9)        |  -1.2250    -1.7509     0.1996    -0.7978  
Manufacturing(△Rt)        |   3.4230    -2.8277    -3.9839    -4.3900  


Looking at changes in Korea's population structure since 1970, the percentage of those aged 14 and under decreased steadily, while the percentage of women aged 15 and over -the age when young women are considered old enough to begin work in a factory - has continued to rise. When looking at the economic participation (EP) rate of the 15 and over age, the EP rate of women has seen a continuous increase while the trend for men has been a steady decline. This phenomenon is not unique in Korea; rather a general trend also seen in other developed countries.

In Table 3, one can see the EP rate of the female work force in Korea (Table 3). This rate of economic activity broken down by age illustrates a typical “M” shape. Based on 1989 figures, the female EP rate was the lowest among the 15-19 age group (18.6 percent), while the highest was the 20-24 age group(63.5 percent).

And after the first peak at age 24, the female EP rate dips again to 43 percent among the group aged 25-29 because most women get married during this period and/or become mothers. The EP rate again increases after age 30, and reaches its second peak(6.6 percent) among the 40-54 age group just prior retirement. Then after about 55 years their EP rate drops again. This “M” pattern of the EP rate was approximately the same regardless of the year studies. It may suffice to say that most women get out of the labor market between the ages of 25-29, but then renter the labor force after age 30. This pattern of leaving and reentering the labor market by women results in quite a different labor supply curve than that of men.

Table 3. Female Economic Participation Rate by Year
                                                           unit : percent
          |    15―19    20―24    25―29    30―39    40―54    55 ―  
   1980   |     34.4      53.5      32.0      46.6      56.2      25.7  
   1985   |     21.1      55.1      35.9      47.9      57.3      27.4  
   1986   |     20.2      58.2      37.0      49.7      57.5      28.9  
   1987   |     21.1      60.1      40.0      51.8      58.1      30.9  
   1988   |     19.2      61.4      40.5      51.8      60.4      30.9  
   1989   |     18.6      63.5      43.0      52.8      61.6      33.3  
Source : National Statistical Office, Annual Report on Survey of Economically Active Population, each year

The distinctive characteristic of the female labor supply is most visible when looking at the occupation classifications of men and women broken down by age. As the results of analyzing the proportion of female production workers to total female workers by age groups, it is the highest in the 15-19 age bracket. Among women reentering labor market women in the 30-39 age bracket were the highest. However, that of male decreases as men became older.

If we compare occupation distribution by age group during the period between 1983 and 1989, while there were no distinctive changes in occupation by age, the ratio of production workers dropped. The proportion of production workers to male and female workers under the age of 25 years declined while it increased to workers age 25 and over. And when we look at the extent of the decline of production-related workers of both sexes, the ratio of female workers aged 15-19 years old decreased from 56.6 percent in 1983 to 37.6 percent in 1989, and from 32.3 percent to 28.6 percent, respectively, for those aged 20-24 years. The ratio of male production-related workers dropped from 71.6 percent in 1983 to 70.6 percent in 1989 and from 67.1 percent in 1983 to 64.9 percent in 1989 in each of the age groups; marking a relatively low rate of decline.
In particular, the extent of the decline was notably greater among female workers: while the number of women production-related workers was higher than men in 1983(126,000 male workers and 140,000 female workers) the opposite was true in 1989 (84,000 and 81,000 respectively).

This decrease in the number of production-related workers was caused by two major factors. First, the decrease in the proportion of those economically active among the younger age groups; and second, the drop in the ratio of young workers entering the labor market in the manufacturing sector. Analyzing these factors by sex, the decline of male workers was mostly attributed to the first factor; while the drop in the number of female production worker was mainly influenced by the second factor. Although the decline of female workers was, in part, influenced by the first factor, it was the second factor that had the greater impact.

Table 4. Distribution of Occupations of Female Wage Earners by Age
                                                           unit : percent
                | Professional        Sale       Service    Agricultural
                | Administrators &    Related    Related    & Fishery
                | Clerical Workers    Workers    Workers    Workers
All Ages  (male)|        28.3           6.4         6.6         1.8
        (female)|        33.1           8.9        17.7         4.2
Ages 15-19(male)|        10.9           9.2         7.6         1.7
        (female)|        48.3           8.7         5.0         0.5
Ages 20-24(male)|        17.3          10.7         5.6         1.6
        (female)|        57.6           8.6         4.8         0.2
Ages 25-29(male)|        28.9           8.7         4.5         1.0
        (female)|        52.2           8.4         9.8         1.1
Ages 30-39(male)|        31.4           6.2         4.9         1.3
        (female)|        16.8          10.6        24.6         4.2
Ages 49-49(male)|        27.9           4.0         8.7         2.2
        (female)|         5.9           9.2        35.0         5.7
Ages 50-54(male)|        29.1           3.4        12.1         2.9
        (female)|         4.3           7.3        36.0        11.6
                |    Production     All
                |    Related        Occupation
                |    Workers
All Ages  (male)|      56.9          100.0
        (female)|      36.1          100.0
Ages 15-19(male)|      70.6          100.0
        (female)|      37.6          100.0
Ages 20-24(male)|      64.9          100.0
        (female)|      28.6          100.0
Ages 25-29(male)|      56.9          100.0
        (female)|      28.8          100.0
Ages 30-39(male)|      56.3          100.0
        (female)|      44.0          100.0
Ages 49-49(male)|      57.1          100.0
        (female)|      44.2          100.0
Ages 50-54(male)|      52.7          100.0
        (female)|      40.9          100.0
Source : National Statistical Office(1990), Annual Report on the Employment Structure Survey.

If we look at employment distribution by age group, the proportion of male workers employed manufacturing diminishes as one moves up the age scale. In 1989, the ratio of male manufacturing workers aged 15-19 years was 59.7 percent, but it dropped to 52.8 percent among those aged 20-24 years; the ratio was 49.7 percent among the 25-29 age group, 40.3 percent among the 30-39 age group, 30.8 percent among the 40-49 age group, and 24 percent among those aged 50-54 years. The statistics on female manufacturing workers show that ratio for those under the age of 30 years old was similar to that of their male counterparts :52.1 percent among women aged 15-19 years, and a drop to 37.6 percent among women aged 25-29 years.

But for the 30-39 age group, when women are reentering the labor market, the ratio of female manufacturing workers is as high as 45.7 percent. If comparing the employment distribution of different age groups by year(1983, 1986, 1989), though there exists a proportional difference in the ratio of workers by industry, the pattern of employment distribution by age is similar for both men and women. For example, comparing the distribution of workers employed in 1989 with 1983, the proportion of male manufacturing workers increased among all age groups except those aged 25-29 years. And for female workers, excluding the 15-19 and 20-24 age groups, all age groups showed increased employment in the manufacturing industry. And looking at the number of manufacturing workers in 1989 compared to 1983, the numbers of workers in the 15-19 age group decreased for both sexes (27,000 male workers and 54,000 female workers). The common factor seen as the cause in the drop in the number of production-related workers and in the number of workers in manufacturing is the drop in economic participation by the younger age bracket of male workers. During this period, however, the rate of young male workers entering the manufacturing industry increased. The decline in the number of female workers in manufacturing, also, was caused by a drop in the number of young female workers entering the manufacturing as well as a decrease in their economic participation.

Table 5. Distribution of Female Workers by Industry
                                       unit : 1,000 persons, percent
           |Agriculture, For-  Manufacturing    Service      All
           |estry & Fishery                                  Industries
All Male  |   147( 2.4)        2,487(39.9)   3,596(57.7)    6,228(100.0)
Ages Female|   134( 4.6)        1,246(42.6)   1,543(52.7)    2,927(100.0)
15∼   Male|     3( 2.5)           71(59.7)      44(37.0)      119(100.0)
19   Female|     1( 0.5)          112(52.1)     102(47.4)      215(100.0)
20∼   Male|    11( 2.1)          272(52.8)     229(44.5)      515(100.0)
24   Female|     3( 0.3)          391(45.6)     462(53.9)      857(100.0)
25∼   Male|    19( 1.4)          680(49.7)     661(48.3)    1,368(100.0)
29   Female|     6( 1.4)          166(37.6)     269(61.0)      441(100.0)
30∼   Male|    41( 1.8)          913(40.3)   1,289(56.9)    2,266(100.0)
39   Female|    27( 4.5)          275(45.7)     300(49.8)      602(100.0)
40∼   Male|    36( 2.9)          384(30.8)      808(64.9)   1,245(100.0)
49   Female|    32( 6.5)          199(40.7)      256(52.4)     489(100.0)
50∼   Male|    16( 3.6)          107(24.0)     318(71.3)      446(100.0)
54   Female|    19(11.6)           60(36.6)      84(52.1)      164(100.0)

Note : Mining industry is omitted from the survey.
Source : National Statistical Office(1990), Annual Report on Survey of Economically Active Population


1. Labor Mobility by Sex

Even though the EP rate and the employment rate of women has continuously increased, the sluggishness of the increasing rate of female employment and the reduction in the proportion of female workers in manufacturing are factors that have caused greater mobility of both male and female workers between industries. The net labor outflow (subtract number of outgoing workers from incoming workers) from manufacturing into other industries totaled 23,000 workers in 1983, 9,000 workers in 1986, and 6,000 workers in 1989.
From this fact we can deduce that fluctuation in the economy has a short term impact on labor inflow and outflow. There was an net outflow of 15,000 male workers in 1983, -7,000 workers in 1986, and -3,000 workers in 1989; while the outflow of female workers was markedly higher than men at 8,000 workers, -2,000 workers, and workers respectively. The relatively higher net labor outflow of female factory workers adversely effected overall female employment and the female employment ratio in the manufacturing industry.

Breaking down labor mobility from employment conditions in manufacturing to the state of inactive economic participation, the net labor inflow was a -211,000 workers in 1983, -278,000 in 1986, and -263,000 in 1989; showing that the numbers in the labor force that were moving from a state of economic inactivity into employment in the manufacturing industry increased. If we break it down by gender, while the male worker's net labor outflow was -87,000 workers in 1983, -92,000 workers in 1986 and -87,000 workers in 1989; the figures for the same period for women show -124,000 workers, -186,000 and -176,000 workers respectively. From the relatively high state of non-active economic participation, the net labor inflow into manufacturing had a positive effect on the female employment ratio and total female employment.

Table 6. Labor Mobility by Sex
                                              unit : 1,000 persons
            |Manufacturing Employment↔   |Manufacturing Employment↔  
            |Other Industries Employment  |Unemployment  
            |Manufac- |Manufac- |         |Manufac- |Manufac- |        
            |turing   |turing   |Net      |turing   |turing   |Net      
            |Industry |Industry |Outflow  |Industry |Industry |Outflow  
            |Outflow  |Inflow   |         |Outflow  |Inflow   |        
1983 male  |    94   |    79   |    15   |    46   |    82   |   -36
      Female|    34   |    26   |     8   |    14   |    24   |   -10
      Total |   128   |   113   |    23   |    69   |   106   |   -46
1986 male  |   103   |   110   |    -7   |    47   |    97   |   -50
      Female|    38   |    40   |    -2   |    14   |    30   |   -16
      Total |   141   |   150   |    -9   |    61   |   127   |   -66
1989 male  |    77   |    80   |    -3   |    41   |    96   |   -55
      Female|    36   |    27   |     9   |    13   |    28   |   -15
      Total |   113   |   107   |     6   |    54   |   124   |   -70
            |Manufacturing Industry↔Non-active
            |Economic Participation
            |Manufac- |Manufac- |        
            |turing   |turing   |Net      
            |Industry |Industry |Outflow  
            |Outflow  |Inflow   |        
1983 male  |    19   |   106   |   -87  
      Female|    72   |   196   |  -124  
      Total |    89   |   302   |  -211  
1986 male  |    23   |   115   |   -92  
      Female|    79   |   265   |  -186  
      Total |   102   |   380   |  -278  
1989 male  |    20   |   107   |   -87  
      Female|    72   |   248   |  -176  
      Total |    92   |   355   |  -263  

Note: Although the eligible age to begin factory work was set at 14 years and over in 1983, it was adjusted to age 15 and over in 1986 and 1987.
Source: National Statistical Office, Annual Report on the Employment Structure Survey.

Most of the female workers (over 85 percent) who moved from manufacturing to other sectors after 1 year, moved into S.O.C (Social Over head Capital) and other service sectors. The outflow of workers from manufacturing to other sectors numbered more than the inflow of workers. If we look at the numbers of mobile workers between the service industry and the manufacturing industry, after 1983, the outward flow of workers numbered more than the inward flow of workers in all industrial sectors excluding paper & printing, basic metals and chemicals. It was this kind of labor mobility that helped create the sluggishness in the increasing rate of female employment in each manufacturing sector.
Table 7 shows the numbers of workers coming into manufacturing by sector. According to Table 7, 37.7 percent and 30.1 percent of the total number of workers who moved from service industries into manufacturing in 1989, inflowed into garment & textile, and machinery sectors, and a 38.7 percent and 25.3 percent of total who moved from manufacturing into service industries, outflowed from these sectors respectively. As such, the highest outward mobility of workers among all manufacturing sectors was in the textile & garment and fabricated metal industries. However, the turnover rate in these two sectors is not all that high when compared with other sectors because these sectors employ more female workers (in 1989 43.4 percent and 23.2 percent respectively) than other manufacturing sectors.

Table 7. Labor Mobility in Manufacturing Sector

                                                     unit : no. of persons
                    |           1983           |           1986          
                    | Inflow |Outflow |Net     | Inflow |Outflow |Net    
                    |        |        |Outflow |        |        |Outflow
Food & Beverage     |  2,899 |  1,633 |  1,266 |  3,916 |  4,155 |   -239
Garment & Textile   | 12,018 |  4,760 |  7,259 | 12,696 |  9,021 |  3,675
Wood & Wood Products|    422 |    777 |   -355 |    645 |    407 |    238
Paper & Printing    |  1,947 |    344 |  1,603 |  1,254 |  1,087 |    167
Chemical Related    |  3,984 |  2,342 |  1,642 |  2,360 |  2,573 |   -213
Nonferrous Metal    |  1,144 |    373 |    771 |    845 |    426 |    419
Basic Metal         |      0 |    294 |   -294 |     49 |    210 |   -161
Machinery           |  4,623 |  3,551 |  1,072 |  8,329 |  7,974 |    355
Miscellaneous       |  1,752 |     72 |  1,680 |  2,796 |  2,169 |    627
Total               | 28,789 | 14,146 | 14,643 | 32.890 | 28,022 |  4,868
                    |           1989          
                    | Inflow |Outflow |Net    
                    |        |        |Outflow
Food & Beverage     |  3,825 |  1,227 |  2,698
Garment & Textile   | 12,075 |  7,094 |  4,981
Wood & Wood Products|    490 |    196 |    294
Paper & Printing    |  1,474 |  2,333 |   -859
Chemical Related    |  2,101 |  1,030 |  1,071
Nonferrous Metal    |    929 |    238 |    691
Basic Metal         |    127 |     77 |     50
Machinery           |  9,828 |  4,633 |  5,195
Miscellaneous       |  1,825 |  1,498 |    328
Total               | 32,674 | 18,326 | 14,449

Note: In this table, outflow refers to the movement of workers from manufacturing sectors into the service sector and inflow refers to the movement of workers from the service sector into manufacturing sectors.

Table 8 shows which sectors of the service industry and S.O.C most female workers moved into from the manufacturing industry. According to Table 8, the outflow of female workers in the service sector numbered more than the inflow for all 3 years studied; just the opposite of the manufacturing.
When broken down into sectors during the period analyzed, in wholesale and retail, restaurants and hotels the inflow of workers exceeded the number of outgoing workers. In construction, transportation, finance & insurance and social and private service sectors which recorded a positive net outflow in 1986, the outflow exceeded the inflow in 1989.

Looking at those industries from which the inflow into the service industry came, the inflow ratio of female workers into the restaurant and hotel industries has shown a decreasing trend. Of the total number of workers who migrated from manufacturing into the service industries in 1983, 31.4 percent moved into the restaurant/hotel industries, 30.4 percent into retail and whole sale and 24.7 percent into the social and private sectors. But in 1989, retail and whole sale recorded a 35.3 percent inflow of workers, social and private sectors a 28.4 percent inflow and restaurant and hotel industries a 19.6 percent inflow.

Table 8.  Labor Inflow and Outflow in S.O.C. and Service Sectors
unit : no. of persons
                           |         1983         |        1986          
                           |Inflow|Outflow|Net    |Inflow|Outflow|Net    
                           |      |       |Outflow|      |       |Outflow
Electricity & Gas          |   166|    106|     60|     0|     50|     50
Construction               | 1,433|    633|    800| 2,367|  1,464|    903
Retail & Wholesale         | 4,769|  8,757| -3,788|10,390| 13,434| -3,044
Restaurants & Hotels       | 1,871|  9,052| -7,181| 4,976|  7,973| -2,997
Transportation, Storage,   |   671|  2,317| -1,700|   969|    722|    247
Telecommunications         |      |       |       |      |       |        
  Finance & Insurance,     | 2,252|    814|  1,438| 2,065|  2,003|     62
Real Estate                |      |       |       |      |       |        
  Social & Private Service | 3,038|  7,110| -4,072| 7,255|  7,244|     11
Total                      |14,146| 28,789|-14,643|28,022| 32,890| -4,868
                           |         1989        
                           |      |       |Outflow
Electricity & Gas          |     0|      0|      0
Construction               | 1,348|  1,468|   -120
Retail & Wholesale         | 6,695| 11,539| -4,844
Restaurants & Hotels       | 3,034|  6,400| -3,366
Transportation, Storage,   |   724|  1,105|   -381
Telecommunications         |      |       |      
  Finance & Insurance,     | 1,905|  2,868|   -963
Real Estate                |      |       |      
  Social & Private Service | 4,620|  9,294| -4,674
Total                      |18,326| 32,674|-14,348

Note: Outflow here means movement of workers from the service industry into manufacturing industry, and inflow means the movement of workers from manufacturing industry to service industry.

2. The Marital Status of Mobile Labor Force

  After 1983, even though the manufacturing industry experienced practically no outflow of married workers, there was a significant influx of married female workers. And while the proportion of single female workers to the total number of female workers entering manufacturing jobs dropped dramatically (53.4 percent in 1983 to 42.7 percent in 1989), the proportion of single female workers leaving manufacturing jobs slightly increased (from 53.9 percent in 1983 to 55.8 percent in 1989).

When looking at the distribution of workers by age and educational background, the out-and inflow ratios of female workers 25 years or younger, from and to manufacturing were 53.8 percent and 50.6 percent respectively. From these figures we can see that most of the labor mobility occurred among the younger generation. Recently, however, the inflow ratio into manufacturing jobs of those aged 30 years and over has had a notable increase. Consequently, in 1989 the out-and inflow ratios of female workers aged 25 and under, from and to the manufacturing industry decreased to 47.5 percent and 33.7 percent respectively.

Table 9. Labor Mobility in the Manufacturing Industry by Marital Status

                                     unit : no. of persons
       |         1983        |         1986        |         1989        
       |Inflow|Out   |Net    |Inflow|Out   |Net    |Inflow|Out   |Net    
       |      |flow  |Outflow|      |flow  |Outflow|      |flow  |Outflow
Married|15,523| 7,561| 7,962 |19,561|13,524|  6,037|18,237| 7,825| 10,412
Single |13,266| 6,585| 6,681 |13,329|14,498| -1,169|14,437|10,501|  3,936
Total  |28,789|14,146|14,643 |32,890|28,022|  4,868|32,674|18,326| 14,348

3. Occupations of Mobile Workers

If we look at the occupations of mobile workers in the labor force, 58.9 percent of total inflow (10,801 workers) workers into manufacturing industries in 1989 moved as production-related workers while 24.7 percent of the remaining inflowed as clerical workers and 8.3 percent as the service-related workers. The previous occupations of workers who relocated to manufacturing jobs were, in order of highest percent, were service-related job at 38.7 percent(4,289 workers), 30.4 percent from sale-related job, 15.5 percent from clerical job, and the remaining 12.4 percent from production-related job. If we look at the occupations of clerical workers who moved from the service industry into manufacturing, 74.7 percent continued doing clerical work, and 17.2 percent changed sales and sale-related. On the other hand, of those entering manufacturing jobs as production -related workers, less than 12.4 percent did the same type of work. Most of those coming out of the service industry, having worked in sales or service related work, migrated to the manufacturing industry. A look at the previous occupations of workers who migrated from manufacturing to service industries reveals that 63.8 percent(20,838 workers) of them were production-related workers, 28.4 percent were clerical workers, and 4.7 percent worked in sales & sale-related jobs. Of those who had been production-relate workers one year earlier, 44.6 percent were, at the time of the study, working in the service-related jobs and 29.2 percent in sales-related jobs.

The study also showed that those female workers who moved from the manufacturing sector into the service sector had a relatively high level of education and were young and single, while female workers who moved from the service industry into manufacturing had relatively little education and were middle or old aged and married.

Table 10.  Occupations of Workers Who Move from the Manufacturing Industry

                                                      unit : no. of persons
                  |      Occupations in Manufacturing for Previous Year
                  |professional|Clerical|Sales Re- |Service|Factory|

Posted by KWWA
A Study of the Impact of Unemployment on the Family and the Role of Women KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 15:05:21, 조회 : 415

A Study of the Impact of Unemployment on the Family and the Role of Women / by Hyekyung Chang and Youngran Kim/ KWDI Research Reports/Women's Studies Forum, Vol.16/ December 2000  

* This article is partial summary of The 1999 Study of the Impacts of Unemployment on Family and Changes in Women's Roles by HyeKyung Chang and Youngran Kim.

Hyekyung Chang, Fellow
Youngran Kim, Researcher


1.Purpose and Need for Research

When Korea underwent the supervision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the resulting massive unemployment created an economic shock which reverberated cross many households at all levels of society. The impacts ranged from actual economic difficulties to the breakup of families and manifesting themselves in varied and serious ways depending on the conditions of the individual families. Corporate and financial restructuring, in particular, which led to massive white-collar unemployment spurred a serious social phenomenon because it led to the accelerated collapse of the middle class, the bedrock in maintaining the social order.

As men, who traditionally played the role of providers for their families, lost their jobs, family differences and family crises began to emerge as a common phenomenon. An offshoot of this phenomenon is that as their and household heads who were responsible for the livelihood of the family lost their jobs, and the traditional patriarchal custom of the man at work and the women at home changed or was weakened as housewives were forced to enter the labor market. In other words, the changed economic situation and family roles forced the family members to adapt to a new situation. Most studies on unemployment and family in Korea focused on the theoretical aspects of family troubles that can result from unemployment in relation to the importance of family welfare. Therefore, there are very few studies in Korea which look at the empirical and practical aspects of family troubles. One of the reasons for this was that since Korea maintained high growth with low unemployment, unemployment was viewed as a personal problem rather than a social one.
However, as Korea underwent IMF supervision, unemployment skyrocketed, leading to family problems such as divorce and desertion of children. As more families broke apart, society as a whole became more concerned which spurred research and especially empirical studies on unemployment and the family. The purpose of this paper is to study the direct influence unemployment has on the unemployed family and women since Korea came under IMF supervision. Then by studying how the families adapt to unemployment, to reveal how family stability and closeness are affected by the economic shock

2. Methodology

In order to study the effect of unemployment of the head of the household in middle class families, the study was limited to those who had worked in an office, in administration, and professionals who were mainly affected by the restructuring during the economic crisis. Up until recently, these workers enjoyed relatively stable employment and consequently the anxiety or the sense of crisis felt by the family was presumed to have been greater.
In-depth interviews were conducted with office workers, administrators, and professionals as well as their wives to create case studies. The survey pool was selected by placing an interview announcement at the Seoul Stable Employment Center. The interviewees had to be married men in their thirties to forties with a wife and children, and had to have been office workers, administrators, or professionals before becoming unemployed, and they had to have been unemployed after November 1997. Including the preliminary study, a total of sixty-five in-depth interviews were conducted.
  The interviews consisted of questions on how the interviewees had become unemployed, changes in their lives since becoming unemployed, changes in their spouses and other members of the family, social support and other general questions such as changes in family composition, total income before and after unemployment, living expenses, how they provided living expenses after becoming unemployed and their plans, as well as their housing situation. Additional questions consisted of family ties and family and social support.

Theoretical Background and Analytical Framework

1. Theoretical Argument

  In today's society, the types of social difficulties that a family faces are closely related to the fluctuations and abuses of a market economy. Failure and deficiencies in the economic system can be a determinant factor threatening the well-being of an individual and the family. It has been found that the increase of unemployment resulting from employment instability can damage the health of the members of society and lead to alienation (Brenner, 1977).
Burgess (1947), a family sociologist, said that there are three types of crises that can lead to the break up of families: (1) changes in family status, (2) conflicts in the concepts of the family member's roles, and  (3) loss of family members resulting from divorce, abandonment, separation, or death. Unemployment of the household head fits all three of the categories mentioned above (Moen, 1979).  
However, unemployment of the household head leads, more than anything, to a rapid deterioration in the family's economic status. When the family lacks income over a period of time, it can lead to poverty, and with increased moves to search for jobs, the family faces more probability of breaking apart. Furthermore, when the head of the household becomes unemployed, it is up to the wife to take on the role of provider which leads to conflict between husband and wife.
With regard to the gender role between husband and wife, if the husband's role as provider is deeply ingrained according to patriarchal norms, the probability of conflict and tension the spouses is higher which can lead to the breakup of the couple through separation, running away, abandonment, or divorce. The unemployment of the household head can be a pretext for adolescent children to leave their homes because they want to be economically independent or to escape poverty. The other extreme case is when the parents can no longer afford the cost of rearing their children and end up abandoning them.
Unemployment can lead to families breaking apart. In order to understand the impact that unemployment has on a family, the family stress theory provides a theoretical foundation. Family stress can be defined as an incident or situation which creates an unstable environment making it difficult to maintain the existing family structure. Consequently, the family is faced with a tense psychological situation caused by the pressure due to the change (Lee, Sun-Yi, 1995). In this case, the incident or condition which causes family stress is called the stressor. According to the family stress theory, unemployment causes pain and tension for the family members and is the strongest stress factor which threatens the stability of the family (Moen, 1979).
However, not all families react in the same way to the unemployment stress factor. In other words, depending on family characteristics, unemployment can have different impacts. Numerous studies on unemployment have focused on family resources, perception and coping as well as the successful or unsuccessful experiences of the individual family members in their approach (Angell, 1936; Cavan and Ranch, 1938; Komarovasky, 1940; Caplovitz, 1981, Miller, et al., 1998; Clulow, 1995, Keefe, 1984; Turner 1995; Chermesh, 1975; Clark and Oswald, 1995; Smith, 1987; Leana and Feldman,1990;   Winkelmann and Winkelmann, 1998; Nelson and Smith, 1998).
  The numerous studies conducted in the 1930s regarding unemployment during the Great Depression provide an enormous source of information. The most widely read are the ones conducted by Angell  (1936) and Cavan and Ranch (1938). Angell (1936) studied 50 families before and during the depression and reported that those families that had strong family ties maintained those relations within the families despite the economic hardships and were able to adapt to the crisis of unemployment. Cavan and Ranch (1938) studied the families of one hundred white workers, and they also found that those families with strong family ties were able to effectively overcome the crisis while those with weak family ties had a higher probability of breaking apart. They emphasized strong family ties and family stability as major factors in family continuity (Other studies on the impact of the depression on individuals and families include Walker, 1933; Mack, 1935; Lenroot, 1935; Zawadzki and Lazarsfeld, 1935; Conrad, 1936).
  In the 1940s, several studies focused on unemployment caused by war and family relations. Komarovsky (1940) studied fifty-eight families and found that unemployment had a tendency to reduce the status of the husband, affected the relationship between the parents and children, and led to the husbands, economic and social instability and a decrease in social activities outside of the home.
  More recently, Winkelmann and Winkelmann (1998) and Nelson and Smith (1998) reported on the impact that unemployment has on individuals, the family and on society as a whole and that this must be taken into consideration in the policy-making process. Winkelmann and Winkelmann (1998) felt that the non-monetary cost of the shock of unemployment was important because employment is not only a  source of income but of social relations, social identity, and individual self-esteem. (For further information regarding the link between employment, job loss, and psychological well-being, refer to Feather, 1990, as well as Erikson, 1959; Jahoda, 1982; Rosenberg, 1965; Lane, 1991.) The non-monetary ramifications of unemployment can change the attitude of the unemployed toward work by dampening productivity. Even in the case of re-employment, the individual may continue to have low self-esteem. Having experienced helplessness and hopelessness, the individual continues to feel anxious. The socio-psychological legacy of unemployment affects the individual, and the family as well as the employer.  Consequently, the non-monetary recovery from unemployment, that is measures to enable recovery from the socio-psychological damage, must be taken into account when devising policies (Darity and Goldsmith, 1996).
  This current study, in particular, focused on the level of satisfaction (loss of income, income level before becoming unemployed and family status, and length of unemployment) in the lives of those who had become involuntarily unemployed between the ages of 30 and 49 and found that satisfaction dropped the most. This is of great significance for studies on unemployment and family troubles being conducted in Korea (For other studies which link the actual negative non-monetary results with unemployment refer to Darity and Goldsmith, 1996; Jensen and Smith, 1990; Junankar, 1991; Clark and Oswald, 1994; Bjorklund, 1985; Korpi, 1997; Goldsmith, et al. 1996).
  Nelson and Smith (1998) studied the effect that economic restructuring has on the realignment of genders within the family and the division of housework. They divided the families into those that had a 'good job' and those that had a 'bad job' to see how they coped with difficult times. Unlike those with bad jobs, those with good jobs had a multi-faceted survival strategy, non-monetary interchanges with other families after a certain period, links with economic activities, and sharing of housework, thereby demonstrating that job characteristics and the ability of a family to adapt were related. Even if unemployment does not always and inevitably adversely affect individuals or the entire family, the above review of previous studies strongly indicates that the experience of unemployment carries a high risk of causing negative results. However, to say that the risk factors translate directly into the collapse of the middle class family, is a hasty conclusion. Families of the unemployed can face an economic crisis at the family level in different ways.
  As the above mentioned studies indicate, the job loss of the household head is directly related to the survival of the family members, causing a change in the family structure. Faced with such a dire situation, the family members will resort to available internal and external resources to concentrate all their efforts to minimize the change. Coping is a response to defend against, avoid, or control conflict situations. There are social and psychological resources to cope with tension and conflict. The main coping mechanisms are, first, the response to change the situation; second, the response to understand the problem factor and control it; third, the response to help to manage tension and conflict (Pearlin and Schooler, 1978).
Traditionally, family tension or conflicts have been viewed as being dysfunctional to the family. However, recent views indicate that because the relationship between work and family life is complex, tension and conflict are rampant. Therefore, rather than overly emphasizing the conflict aspect of the family, by making an effort to understand the coping mechanism of the family or family members, it is possible to understand why certain families are better able to cope with tension and conflict compared to other families (Stanfield, 1996).
  There are three questions regarding coping in family conflicts. First, in order to cope with conflicts which arise within the family, how do family members use the available resources within the family?  Second, when there is a lot of tension or conflict, how does the family use outside resources in order to deal with such a situation? And third, are there differences in the use of internal and external coping strategies? In other words, when a problem arises within the family, the family acts as a resource in itself to resolve the problem. But outside resources (for example, social support systems, friends, neighbors, community groups, etc.) can help even when the family is coping well and is stable. Olson, McCubbin, and others (1983:136) emphasized the following in their research about coping with conflict in their theories. In order to cope with conflict, such efforts are, for the individual and the family, an on-going process. In order to reduce the effect on the conflict factors, there must be the ability to act, and lastly, the coping strategy must shift from an individual strategy to a family one. This shift opens a new area of research regarding how families cope with conflict (Reiss and Oliveri, 1980).
When faced with unemployment, there are different objectives that a family has in coping with the economic crisis. Among those objectives, the most widely pursued one is to maintain the household income at a level similar to the one before the unemployment occurred without any role change among the family members. In order to reach this objective, the family will momentarily concentrate all its available resources on minimizing the crisis situation which can have different results. The available resources can be divided into internal and external ones. Internal resources can include accumulated available assets and social competencies of individual family members. They range from economic resources, the democratic distribution of authority among family members, diffusion of existing conflicts, rational understanding of individual family members, socio-cultural factors, etc. The external resources range from national policies such as unemployment measures, access to banks, relatives, colleagues, and other groups.
However, as many previous studies have indicated, because of the weak structural support of Korean society, the actual external resources available to the unemployed are limited to relatives, colleague groups, and private support that serve as substitutes for public support.

2. Research and Analytical System

  To summarize the theoretical arguments, first, Burgess and Moen reported that unemployment can have the following effects on the family: (1) a change in family status; (2) a role change within the family; and  (3) loss and alienation of family members. Of these results, Komarovsky focused on the role structure between family members and changes in family relations as well as tension and conflict. Second, Winkelmann among others looked at the psychological and emotional impact that unemployment has on various family members and the non-monetary cost inflicted. Third, the family stress theory and coping theory provided an analytical framework to look at the dynamic process within the family structure following unemployment and its impact.
  This study brings together the various theoretical perspectives referred to above to create a comprehensive analytical framework to study and analyze rather than to prove alternative theories. In other words, the aim was to see whether, even with only a few substantial, empirical studies, such theories
could be applied to concrete corroborative data. Therefore, the authors did not limit themselves to a single conceptual framework. For example, when there was a role change within the family as a result of job loss, Burgess views could be used to allow the fact that there was a structural change within the family. When using the coping theory, the same role change can be seen as a coping mechanism. Therefore this study and other corroborative data were collected, and from the perspective of investigating the actual condition, the two factors cannot be strictly distinguished.
Consequently, the overall structure of the report did not confine itself to one theory but rather selected different theories (most notably the coping theory) when interpreting the results by item. An analytical framework based on these different theories was used to emphasize the following important items.
  First, when taking into consideration that depending on how family members perceive the stress situation of unemployment (economic shck) and its subsequent consequences, the actual pain and tension experienced differs, it is important to examine the economic and psychological aspects of the family members as well as family relations and role structure.
Second, the reserves available to the family as a unit which can be applied to the events and condition of unemployment are important. When the household head becomes unemployed, the family loses its main source of income. The family must resort to alternative economic resources (savings, income from other family members, etc.) or rely on the family's organizational characteristics (family ties and communication methods, etc.). For the unemployed family, these all become important resources which can be applied in a crisis situation. When taking into consideration the importance of economic resources, it is important to study the impact that unemployment has on families of all social strata.
Furthermore, through the employment of women who consequently become the main source of income, a change in the gender role structure within the family takes place, having great import on the change in the role of women. In addition, during a crisis, organizational characteristics such as family ties can be an important indicator of the family's stability. In turn, the break-up of families cannot be interpreted as simply a materialistic reaction to an economic crisis. This simply means that it is important to look at the quality of family relations over a period of time, that is to say, before and after unemployment.
  Third, the role of social resources is important in enhancing the coping abilities of a family and to maintain family stability when faced with unemployment. Social resources include the support of a social network composed of relatives and neighbors of the unemployed family, community support and national policy support. This highlights the fact that unemployment is a problem related to social systems and structure and therefore must be handled through policies.

Changes in Family Life and in the Role of Women as a Result of Unemployment

1. General Characteristics of Subjects

  The average age of the respondents was 38.11 years. There were 6 respondents in their twenties; 38 in their thirties; 14 in their forties; and 7 in their fifties. Those in their thirties and forties consisted of 78 percent of the total respondents. Because one of the criteria for selection was that they had to be professionals or office workers, 79 percent of the respondents had at least a junior college education (18.5 percent graduated from junior college and 61.5 percent from college). The average age of the wives of the
respondents was 34.98 years, and the proportion of high school and college graduates was similar.
  The average number of family members was 3.74, including their children, 23.1 percent had three members, 52.3 percent four, that is, 75.4 percent were composed of nuclear families with parents and children. The average unemployment period of the respondents was 5.72 months. Of the respondents, 32.8 percent had been unemployed for four months, 31.2 percent for six to ten months. Most of the respondents did not quit their jobs but had been laid off because their company had gone bankrupt or as a result of corporate restructuring.
  The following shows the actual effect that unemployment had on the respondent's families. For this study, the focus was placed on 56 case studies excluding those in the preliminary study, those who had become unemployed before the economic crisis and those who did not have children.

2. The Effects of Unemployment on the Family

A. Economic Aspect
  The economic changes following unemployment and what they mean to the family are as follows.
  First, out of the total 56 cases, 38 (76 percent) of the families depended on the salary of the respondent as their  main source of income (including four cases where there was additional income to the salary).  In 18 cases, the respondent's and the wife's salaries, that is, double income households, were the main sources of income. Regarding the source of income following unemployment, out of the total 56 cases, 20 families received unemployment allowance and only 6 families participated in public works. In 28 cases, the wife's salary, 27 cases of savings and cancellations, 7 cases of income from assets showed that there were families that had savings or income from investments made before unemployment. When the wife worked, the families had economic resources to fall back on. However in 7 cases, the families had debts  and for 12 cases, the families received help from parents, siblings or relatives(The total is more than the 56 cases because there were multiple answer).
  It is important to note that there were a number of cases in which the husband was laid off and the wife's salary became the main source of income. There were 13 cases in which the wife either began economic activities or showed an inclination to participate more vigorously after the husband was laid off.  For those who were already working, that is, in 15 cases, other sources of income were considered to be sporadic and the wife's salary became the sole, permanent source of income. This indirectly demonstrates that in a crisis situation, the role of working wives is more important, as illustrated below:

   ※ The case of a housewife finding work:
      Mr. S is currently 40, a college drop-out and has been married for 13 years. His wife is a high-school graduate. He has three sons: one in seventh grade, one in ninth grade, and a two-year old. Before he became unemployed, Mr. S's salary was about 1.95 million won per month which was spent in the following ways: 30 percent on living expenses, 20 percent on education, 20 percent on interest and 30 percent on miscellaneous items. Very little was saved.  He worked as a department manager of an apparel distribution company. When the company faced financial difficulties, he had to leave the company since the company was firing from the top. It has been five months since he was laid off. The family is currently living on his wife's income. His wife works in apparel sales, and he does not receive an unemployment allowance. He plans to participate in the public works organized by the Labor Agency, but as to his plans afterwards, he is uncertain.

   ※ The case of a double-income family:
      I am currently 41 years old and my monthly income before becoming unemployed was about 2.5 million won. I was a department manager in telecommunications. It has been 8 months since I was laid off. I have a wife and a 6-year-old daughter. Because my wife also works, we were able to save quite a lot, though we do have some interest to pay off. I still have to pay a 50 million won loan that I borrowed without my wife knowing. I'm paying it off with my unemployment benefits (my wife doesn't know this) and some money that I have. When the unemployment benefits dry up, I'll have to tell my wife about the loan. Then we'll have to sell our apartment to repay the loan. Right now, we're living on my wife's salary, and I'm trying to find a new job, but it's very difficult.

  The respondents can be categorized into three groups: families that have reserve resources, families that do not have reserve resources, and families that have debts. If there are positive reserve resources, that is, if there are other sources of income besides the income of the household head, the family crisis caused by his or her unemployment can be alleviated somewhat. For double income families, when the wife's salary was a supplement to the husband's income before he was laid off, the husband could continue to look for work, receive training to find a new job, or invest in a new business. Furthermore, in order to offset the financial difficulties of the family, savings, cancellations or sale of real estate were ways that were used to maintain the economic level of the family. As a result, for many unemployed, the degree of economic difficulties felt by those laid off varied depending on the level of economic and socio-economic status before becoming unemployed.
  Following unemployment, the most noticeable changes occurred in the housing and financial situation which the families tried to overcome by resolving economic problems, making plans to provide living expenses, making efforts to reduce consumption and finding new sources of income.

  Housing and Financial Situation: As the chart below shows, 15 respondents were full owners of their homes. In 13 cases, they were still making monthly payments on the house, one family could lose its mortgaged house, and another family was in arrears in loan repayment. Twenty-two families were renting their homes and some who had been been refunded their rental key money were using it for living expenses.

    Housing Situation                                     Number of Families
Complete Ownership                                            15        
Owned with Mortgage                                            1        
Bought but in Arrears with Payment                                 1        
Bought but Making House Payments as well as interest                 13    
Renting                                                       22  
Owned by Parents                                               2      
No Response                                                   2      
    Total                                                     56        

  As can be seen in the following case, some families had difficulties due to the drop in real estate prices during the economic crisis. These families took out a loan to buy their house and had rented it. With the rise in interest rates and drop in rent, they were doubly affected. It is most probable that these families will continue to face difficulties linked to housing.
      The rent of our home is 5.5 million won. We took out a loan to buy a 48-pyong apartment (which cost about 1.6 to 1.7 billion won at the time of purchase) which we rented out. The apartment was used as collateral to take out a 30 million won loan from the bank. The money was lent to a friend. We did not receive any interest and the friend disappeared after going bankrupt. The bank continues to pressure us to pay back the principal. The current price for the apartment is 90 million won. Even if we want to move, the house was used as fixed collateral for the bank loan and so the house cannot be rented and the current renters have filed a civil suit to demand the return of their rent money. Other financial losses or debts include a family which had been guarantor and had to put their house up for sale to cover the loss. Not many families had income from interest or assets and so few families lost assets.
However, there were many families that had to cancel their savings, insurance, and other investments in order to cover their living expenses. Some received help from relatives or took out loans, while others participated in public works or had to depend on their wives income. Ways to Resolve Economic Problems and to Cover Living Expenses:
  As for ways to resolve economic problems and to cover living expenses, most respondents felt that the only way to resolve economic problems was to find a new job. Most of the respondents also answered that they wanted to find a job in the same line of work that they had left. In the case of one professional, he said that he had tried selling chicken skewers on the street but that the territoriality was too strong and that it was not profitable. He therefore quit and wants to go back to his old profession. In another case, a man tried selling pharmaceuticals, but is now in job training. The difficulties that the unemployed face shed some light on the problems that have to be surmounted when changing fields

Way to Solve Economic Problems                       Number of Cases
Find new job in related field                                 21      
Change job or find new job in different field                     6      
Start new business                                          5    
Cancel savings, severance pay                                7
Public work                                               2    
Vague and uncertain                                        19  
   Total                                                 56      

  When there are problems finding a new job, the table below shows the different ways used to cover living expenses. Selling the house or moving to a smaller place was utilized in 8 cases, and opening a small business or farming in 9 cases. However, except for those who could depend on the wife's salary or who moved in with their parents, after a certain period of time, most faced an extremely uncertain situation. Out of 18 cases in which the wife had an income, only 3 families could live off the wife's income, indicating that among the unemployed, the husband's income was considered the foundation of the family’s income. Furthermore, in a few cases, the families moved in with the husband's or wife's parents or received help from them in order to overcome the crisis. Even if they were not living together, the link with the parents was a way to maintain family stability despite the husband's unemployment. However, without a fundamental measure to compensate for the income gap, extended unemployment can
rapidly lead to personal bankruptcy.

Way to Cover Living Expenses                          Number of Cases
Sell house/real estate                                      8    
Small business, (selling fruit etc.), farming                     9    
Anything(work overseas, daily work, construction work,          7    
newspaper delivery, driving etc.)                    
Savings, severance benefits, national pension                    3      
Wife's salary                                              3  
Public work, unemployment loans, apply for extension           5  
of unemployment benefits                              
Live with parents                                          3      
No idea                                                  2    
No answer                                               16  
  Total                                                  56      

  Reduction of Consumption Following Changes in Income: Faced with a crisis situation, families can reduce consumption as a way to deal with the change in income. With the accumulated usable assets, the standard of living can be maintained, but there must also be an active reduction of expenses and intentional buying of discounted products. In such ways, the family can adapt without any major problems even if there is some uncertainty. Regarding changes in consumption patterns after unemployment, almost all respondents said that they were keeping consumption to a minimum. They all responded that they were doing their utmost to reduce consumption, for example by using public transportation instead of private cars, walking short distances, not going out for meals, not buying electronic household goods, handing down clothes, economizing on electricity and water, etc.

  Securing a New Income Source: As was seen above, after the husband became unemployed, in several cases, the wife's salary became the main source of income. Regardless of whether the income level was high or low, when the husband became unemployed after the family had depended on his salary as the sole source of income, the wife either began working or was strongly inclined to do so in a few cases, while in others the wife was already working which goes to show that the entry of women in the labor market is a new source of income. According to Kim Seung-Kwon (1998), in about 10.2 percent of families in which the husband was unemployed, the wives were working, and of these, 73.2 percent were double income families before the husband was laid off, and only 26.3 percent of the women found a job after the husband lost his job. This shows that the husband's unemployment spurs the housewives into finding different forms of employment.
B. Psychological Aspect
  In general, during the process of unemployment, the psychological difficulties experienced begin with anxiety, uneasiness, and fear before being laid off, and once laid off, a loss of self-respect together with anger, embarrassment, and a sense of inferiority. When the period of unemployment is prolonged and compounded with repeated failures in finding a new job, the impact is conpounded, leading to a second depression. The man becomes despondent and loses all will to work and reacts by going through the psychological stages of denial → anxiety → anger, sense of betrayal  → acceptance → depression,  desperation (Vosler and  Page-Adams, 1996; Kim Jae-Kap, et al., 1998). Most of the respondents in this study were found to have experienced these psychological stages up to the stage of depression and desperation. One example is a man who had worked twelve years for a leading ad company in Korea.

      I was most anxious when I felt that I would lose my job. Then after I left my company, I could hardly contain my anger for about a week. As I thought about the past, I was overcome with a sense of shame. I was swept with a sense of anxiety about the future and felt sorry toward my children whom I worried might lose heart. However, as head of a household, responsible for its well being, I had to be courageous. The first courageous act was to apply for unemployment allowance. I also went to a place where other unemployed people gathered. However, I was very disappointed because there was only space provided for people to gather. There was no information to help those who had been laid off or counseling services. I gathered information and studied about all the different sort of businesses I could start, including a kimbap stand. Luckily, things are looking up because a new business related with what I used to do seems to be promising.

  In order to ascertain the specific psychological states of the respondents, more detailed analysis was made of the reasons for being laid off, the responsibility for being laid off, and how the respondents felt about their current situation. Reasons and responsibility for being laid off: When asked about the reasons and responsibility for being laid off, some answered that it was because of their incompetence and physical defects, but most respondents answered that the reason was not their responsibility but that of the government, the chaebol, the company owners, employers, etc. and because their mistakes, the unemployed workers felt betrayed by the company for which they had worked so hard, as one explained.

      The company overextended itself by expanding excessively. This ultimately led to problems in management and bankruptcy. Before the economic crisis broke out, the companies were overexpanding and their overdependence on loans led to faulty management which in turn resulted in bankruptcy, so management is responsible for laying me off.

  Thoughts about unemployment: When asked about what they thought about their current situation, most answered that they were anxious and had misgivings. However, in many cases, others were quickly reconciled and accepted the fact that they had been laid off and were making efforts to improve their situation. However, in making those efforts, what most of the unemployed felt in common was anxiety and worry as a result of their surrounding conditions and situation. Some of their comments were: 'After being laid off,' 'I've become more irritable and am drinking more;' 'I want to look at this situation as an opportunity and a new challenge but the surrounding conditions and situation make it hard to stand firm;' and 'I'm so anxious and worried that I can't sleep at night.' Of those who had been unemployed for only a short period of time, only a few were despairing or desperate because they could not find a job.  However, as repeated attempts to find a job failed and anxiety and uneasiness continued to mount, there was the possibility that as they began to lose confidence and experienced a second wave of desperation, stress would increase. One respondent said that after being unemployed for two months, thoughts of being a failure kept him awake every night. He felt as if he were the only one who had been laid off and so he  could not ask anyone for help. He felt as if there was no hope, and he was extremely anxious. Another respondent said that, after being laid off, he had submitted his resume to over twenty places of employment, but he had not even passed the document screening phase. He tried to console himself by saying that it was a new challenge, but the feelings of desperation were too strong and he felt as though he was a failure. Another respondent said that he had been unemployed for eight months and was in his forties. His feelings of being a failure made him feel anxious. He lacked confidence and felt that he was very unlucky. The respondents all showed a large degree of psychological despondency, so efforts to build confidence and positive thinking are important.

C. Family Relations and Role Structure
In order to better understand the psychological impact of economic difficulties resulting from unemployment, family relations and role structure within the family can be studied. The reason for this is because the many factors which affect the psychological well being of a jobless person are related to the family and because economic difficulties are experienced indirectly via family relations. Through relations with the spouse and children, the level of family stress or family conflict as well as family environment can be judged. Therefore, from a positive perspective, the family tends to understand and adapt more quickly to the given situation, for example, reducing the size of the household or a full-time housewife aggressively entering the job market. The family members share in the pain of the father and husband being laid off and try to do their utmost to comfort and to be considerate.
However, as the unemployment period becomes prolonged, the children, unaccustomed to having their father stay at home, tend to avoid him, while the wife is under a lot of stress simply because the husband is staying at home all day. From the point of view of the husband, feeling unworthy because he  is not fulfilling his previous role as provider for the family, tends to take on a very passive attitude in family matters. Family relations and the role structure were approached from behavioral role changes and from the psychological relationships among family members.

  Behavioral role changes:
  Sharing the responsibility of provider with a wife: coming from a patriarchal perspective, many household heads consider it natural that they are responsible for providing for the family. Nevertheless, they feel the burden of having to provide for the family alone. After being laid off, they hope that their wife will find a job or in the case of double income homes that their wife will continue to work, as related below.

      “I can't come out and say it, but I wish my wife would take on the economic responsibilities. When I talked about our company's situation and when my salary became irregular, she caught on to what was happening. When I was receiving the unemployment allowance, I could tell that she thought that this wouldn't last long. But nowadays, she openly tells me to find a job. Currently my wife works at the dong (district) office as part of the public works program. She says that she wants to learn a skill so that she can continue working. I'd be happy to see her play a long-term economic role when I think about our retirement and other factors, I think that my friends who have a double income have it better than the single income homes.”

      “My wife runs a kindergarten. I've provided for our family for 18 years and 3 months and reared the children, so I'm not overly burdened by the fact that my wife is working. I think I deserve a rest. My wife encourages me to start anew and does her utmost to boost my confidence.”

      “We've had it rough because we didn't have enough to cover living expenses. My wife is working and covers the living expenses. She works in the accounting department of a distribution company. I’m really sorry that my wife has to work. I don't think that the husband and wife have to have separate financial responsibilities, Depending on the situation, the husband or wife can be responsible.”

As these cases show, the psychological inclination to depend economically on the spouse upon becoming unemployed is based on the fact that they feel that there is a possibility that they can overcome the crisis together with the family and that they have a strong psychological dependency on the spouse in particular.

Sharing household chores:
Regarding the degree of participation in and their thoughts about household work, there were varied answers with some of the respondents answering that even if the wife is working and providing for the family, household chores are the responsibility of the woman; for part of the time that the wife spends on economic activities, it is only natural that I spend some time on household chores so as to divide the roles; it's only natural that overall housework be done together; as part of the family, the husband and wife should take part together. Thus, it was found that compared to before becoming unemployed, the husband was spending more time on household chores. The reasons given were that it's only natural when we're at home; it's only natural that the one with more time should do it; my wife is tired after working, so it's unfair to leave it all to her; simply because I have more time. There was one respondent who after being laid off was doing all the household work. He washed the kids in the morning, fed them breakfast, took them to kindergarten and in the afternoon picked them up.
However, he said,  "I'm doing something that I don't have to. Before, I would have gladly helped and would have been thanked for helping. Now, my wife takes it for granted that I do the housework and so there are times when I don't feel like doing it. After being laid off, the husband participated in housework and rearing the children not because there was a change in their awareness which led to a role change, but it was considered simply as helping the wife. In general, there was a change in the roles of the husband and wife within the family framework, but there was no change in their thoughts about their roles. This is probably because the unemployed regarded their situation as being temporary. If this is the case, the husband and wife will both need to readjust their roles to fit the situation should the unemployment be prolonged.

Increase in the wife's role and participation:  
The respondents stated that regarding the role of family provider, the role of the husband and wife could change. There were also those who openly admitted that they wished that their wife would take on that responsibility. Therefore, this implies that the traditional gender role is not fixed but can change according to the situation.
  In fact, different cases indicate that employment of women should be encouraged and increased so that they can play a more important role in the economy of the family, for example, the case when the family in which the wife's salary became the main source of income after the husband was laid off. Regardless of whether the income level was high or low, for families whose sole source of income was the husband's salary, the wife began to work or showed a strong interest in doing so after the husband lost his job.
In double income homes where the husband lost his job and when the household income is considered the major factor to maintain, the economic activity of the wife, despite the husband's unemployment, can provide actual help in running the household.  If such income can help to handle economic difficulties, it can also prevent the breakup of families and solve difficulties.
This can provide the basis for the government to devise policies to encourage wives to engage in economic activities in order to maintain the stability of the families.

Changes in the psychological relations among family members:
Since most of the respondents had been laid off recently, they responded that they did not feel that  there had been any major psychological changes. However, there were a few cases which indicated that there was some role conflict. In general, most respondents said that should the unemployment period be prolonged, they were very worried and anxious about providing for the family, indicating that there was a strong probability that this will lead to instability in the family.

Loss of authority as husband and father due to economic incompetence:
Many respondents said that economic incompetence and the loss of authority as husband were directly correlated. If the unemployment period is prolonged, conflicts in the family role based on the traditional patriarchal ideology can lead to substantial psychological pain. Among the responses, 'I can't state my position as strongly as I used to;' 'We talk less or not at all. It seems like I've lost my authority as head of the household;' 'My words have lost their strength and my authority has been weakened;' 'My kids think strange thoughts and have grudge-filled worries;' and 'Because my wife has pointed out my incompetence, my kids no longer recognize my authority and consider me an incompetent person.' The husband's loss of
authority extended even to his in-laws. Other responses included, since being laid off, we haven't made love; and if I continue to be unemployed, I think I'll lose confidence in our sex life because of the responsibility, indicating that there was a correlation between economic incompetence and sex life, as respondents reported.

      The kids take pity on their father:
My wife doesn't think that she has to stay at home and thinks that it's all right to work outside the home,
still-but, I've started to think that it'll be impossible for me to find a new job. Since I've been laid off, we haven't made love once because I'm so preoccupied and everything is difficult. After meeting friends, my pride is hurt when they try to give me taxi fare.

      There have been no changes in any way. But, if my wife puts pressure on me, and I become obsessed, I think I'd lose all will. I think I've lost some authority as husband. If this lasts long and there's more pressure, I think I'll lose my authority and I'll lose confidence in our sex life as well.

Weakened support between husband and wife:
Most of the respondents said that family ties as a family unit had not been weakened but that unemployment had had a negative effect on husband and wife relations. In fact, the first aspect to be affected by the husband's unemployment was husband and wife relations. Since unemployment translates into a loss of the husband's role as financial provider, the degree of adaptability and communication between husband and wife were closely related.
  Regarding taking the lead in the home, there were those who felt that by losing economic competence, the leadership as head of the household passed over to the wife. For example, respondents said, as a man, I've lost my command and I feel like our life is no longer a patriarchal family but rather a matriarchal one. Since my wife is making money, she has a greater say.  
  There were other respondents who said that they spoke less with their wife since being laid off; before being laid off, the husband had had a bigger say but that since being laid off, the wife was managing everything; the wife had at first been composed but as time went by, she had become more irritable, calling the husband incompetent and was at a loss as to what to do. In this case, the wife was happy to stay at home but had no choice but to work and therefore was expressing the conflict she was feeling, also indicating that there was a weakening in the support between husband and wife. Also, in the case of a traditional gender role mentality where the husband works, while the wife stays at home is considered to be the norm, the fact that the husband has been laid off causing the full-time housewife to emerge as a new economic entity can be a source of stress for both husband and wife, as one husband explained.

      My wife works as a saleslady at a department store. Whenever she sees friends or relatives there, she avoids them. If she does happen to meet them, she gets very upset when she comes home. And then, if the house isn't cleaned and everything is a mess when she comes home, she gets very angry, and sometimes my temper also flares. Not too many people know that I've been laid off and that my wife is working. My wife prefers to stay at home rather than work. I would also like to make my wife comfortable.

Increased emotional conflict and work for wives:
The wives tended to get angrier more easily, more irritable and fought more often, but there were
also those wives who did their utmost to build their husband's morale. Before, my husband wouldn't eat from the same side dishes more than twice in a meal, but now he just eats without saying anything. Before,
he was full of confidence, but now his spirits are down and it seems as if he's lost all his will. I don't know if it's because his pride has been hurt or whether it's because he's ashamed, but he avoids all contact with people in our neighborhood. I teach and encourage my kids to be even more polite than before so that their relationship with their father won't become awkward, but the kids just complain that they want their father to hurry up and get a new job. Since my husband has lost his confidence and feels discouraged at the slightest thing, I do my best to take care and think about his feelings before anything else.

  In a lot of cases, the wives of the respondents felt that it was the woman's role to boost their husband's confidence, build his pride and protect him. This indicates that the emotional work of women increases as
they try to maintain the gender division of labor within the family. This can be another burden that the wives must bear as they face concrete economic difficulties in managing the household.

D. Outside Relations and Social Support
  In order to examine the outside relations and social support of the respondents, the following relations among six categories of people were studied: (1) those with whom they had kept in close contact in general; (2) those with whom they could frankly talk about their worries and fears; (3) those who could advise them on solving or handling the problems they faced; (4) those who could provide material assistance if they asked for financial help; (5) those with whom they enjoyed spending time; and (6) those who could help  them with daily chores. The result was that for all six categories, the first answer was always my wife. The runner up in all categories except for helping in daily chores, was a friend or a senior as someone they could talk to. For respondents, their wives, friends, and seniors were their basic support network.
  Consequently, it can be said that the general social support network is very weak. Excluding friends and seniors, religious institutions, counseling services, work colleagues, neighbors, etc., do not play a very big role in supporting the family of the unemployed. This is in part because when problems arise in a  family in Korea, the tendency is to look for solutions within the family, but it can also be said that the  social support systems are insufficient.

Prospects for Strengthening and Stabilizing Family Ties and Changes in the Role of Women Within the Family

  Based on this study, it is possible to consider the impact that the economy has on family ties by focusing on unemployment, quality of husband and wife relations, the economic role of women, and family ties and their link to stability.
  The unemployment of the male head of the household translates into the loss of his role as the main economic provider and when the wife takes over his role, the roles of the husband and wife must be adjusted likewise. In other words, as the full-time housewife is transformed into the new provider for the family, the traditional gender role is challenged.
Furthermore, even for a double income marriage, when the wife takes on the role of main provider after the husband is laid off, the husband loses the authority that he had as household head in his relations with his wife and children. As a result, the previous roles within the family become blurred and have to be readjusted. The change in roles of the husband and wife influence the degree of adjustment and communication and are therefore closely related to the stability of the family.
  After the husband becomes unemployed, tension within the family is heightened which in turn can aggravate husband-wife relations or can lead to the break up of the family. It is difficult to find accurate statistics, but the tension is closely correlated with the husband-wife relations before the economic crisis.  In other words, depending on whether husband-wife relations were vertical, that is, orders were given by the husband and followed by the wife with the husband leading, horizontal with the husband and wife relating as friends, or reverse vertical, where even if the family depends on the husband's income, the wife has more influence over the husband, the husband's unemployment has a different impact on the family.
In the first example of a vertical relationship, that is, with the husband dominating over the wife in the  raditional husband led relationship, the husband's unemployment leads to increased tension, can cause problems within the family, and the rate and intensity is stronger compared to other relationships. In such a family, the wife continues to consider the husband as the family's financial provider even after he has been laid off, is unable to adapt to the husband's loss of his role as head of the household or the role change within the family and therefore faces relatively more problems.
  In the second example of a horizontal husband-wife relationship where the husband and wife are on an equal footing, the shock of unemployment is less than in the case of the more traditional husband-wife relationship, and the family tends to adapt much more quick

Posted by KWWA
A Proposal to Diversify the Daycare Service Supported by Employers KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 15:04:16, 조회 : 407

A Proposal to Diversify the Daycare Service Supported by Employers / by Seungju Yang
/ KWDI Research Reports/Women's Studies Forum, Vol.13/December 1997  

* This paper is the condensation of the 1996 Research Report 200-7, A Proposal to Diversify the Daycare Service Supported by Employers by Seungju Yang.


  At the present time the government is implementing the day-care-at-work policy centering around the establishment of daycare centers at the work place. It is required that companies with more than 300 female employees should establish daycare facilities. However, as of 1996, only 5.4% of the 329 companies in that category have daycare centers at work. Even the major companies do not have daycare centers, and the policy is simply not being implemented very well.

  Among the companies with more than 300 female employees, many have a few women with daycare needs.  It costs much to newly establish daycare centers or to remodel the existing facilities. Considering the administrative costs of changing the usage of the building, costs go even higher. Further, the number of female white collar workers in the field of non manufacturing sector is increasing, where the employee number is relatively small and it is difficult to establish daycare centers at work. In the case of service companies, there are a few with more than 300 female employees, and they tend to be located on expensive real estate, which makes it difficult  to find  room for daycare centers.

  The support of the companies in establishing daycare centers is urgently required. However, because of the above reasons, there is a clear limit to such daycare at work centering around establishing facilities within the work place. In order to solve the problem, there is a need to change the policies from limiting the daycare at work to the  work place  or to the  facilities located nearby, to  the policy  of encouraging  the employers  to  share the  costs of daycare. In other words, emphasis should be put on cost sharing rather than on the location of facilities.1) Un Cho, 1995, "What is a Daycare at Work?" in Our Children Growing Up Together, ed. Common Childrearing Research Association 138.

The purpose of this study is to promote the effectiveness and equity of the daycare at work projects by expanding daycare at work through the diversification of daycare services.


1. Establishment of Daycare at Work by Types

A. Industries Surveyed

  A mail survey was conducted of a total of 64 companies which had established daycare centers after August 1995. Only 38 companies replied, but there were the total of 42 companies since one of the companies had five daycare facilities in headquarters and branches.

1)        Industries.
Looking at the industrial distribution of the companies, 17 were manufacturing and 21 were non-manufacturing. In the case of the manufacturing industry, three were textile companies, four were clothing and four were electronic companies. Among the non manufacturing industries, seven were public institutions, si. elementary schools, si. hospitals, and  two insurance companies.

2)        The number of workers.
There were 19 companies with more than 300 female employees which had the responsibility of establishing daycare centers at work. The other 19 had less than 300 female employees. Among the latter, there were six public institutions and si. elementary schools, as well as four small and medium manufacturing companies. Looking at the distribution of the number of married women workers, it was mostly in the companies with more than 100 married women where the daycare centers were established at work.

B. Facilities

1)        Background for establishment.
The reasons given for establishing daycare centers were to promote the welfare of workers (19 responses) and to secure women's labor forces (9 responses). The demands by workers and labor unions (6) was another reason for the establishment. In private companies, the necessity for securing women's labor forces and the demands by the labor union had more impact than the motivation for promoting the welfare of workers.

2)        Openness of facilities.
Altogether, 27 daycare centers were open exclusively for the workers. However 13 companies opened the facilities to neighboring companies and local citizens.
3)        Age of children and daycare hours.
There are 25 facilities for children over three years of age, which leaves more than 17 facilities for children under three years of age. Eleven facilities provide services for more than 12 hours, and nine of them provide more than 13 hours of service. Those which provide more than 13 hours of service for children under three years of age are mostly the daycare facilities attached to hospitals. The daycare facilities of large hospitals provide practical daycare services that cannot be provided by local facilities.

[Table 1] Distribution of Facilities by Children's Age and Daycare Hours

   Age         N Facilities      Daycare Hours(weekdays)     N Facilities
Under 1           2                Under 8 hours                 3
1yr               3                  8∼10 hours                20
2yrs             12                 10∼12 hours                 8
3yrs             21                 12∼16 hours                 8
Over 4yrs         4                Over 16 hours                 3
Total            42                    Total                    42

4)        Monthly daycare fee.
The average daycare fee of manufacturing companies is mostly under US$33.00(30,000 won) a month.  In contrast, a relatively high daycare fee of over US$133.00(120,000 won) is required for facilities operated by elementary schools, hospitals, and public sectors. In the case of the medium and small companies, the daycare fees are cheap, but since the companies are often not capable of providing quality daycare service, the quality of the daycare is in question.

[Table 2] Distribution of Daycare Centers by Monthly Daycare Fee

         Monthly Daycare Fee                 Number of Facilities
               Free                                    9
       under$33.(30,000 won)                            6
    $44.(40,000)~$56.(50,000)                           6
   $78(70,000)~$111.(100,000)                           10
        over $133(120,000)                              11
               Total                                  42

  5) Distribution of Workers Using Daycare Centers by Gender
  Among the respondents, 21 centers had no male workers using daycare centers; 11 companies had less than 20% of males among the workers using daycare centers, six had over 50% of males and three companies had 100% males among the workers using daycare centers. Those with more than 50% male workers are electronic companies and heavy industries located in special regional industrial areas, which established daycare centers mostly for the welfare of male workers.

C. Current Situation of Daycare Centers at Work and Its Evaluation

1)        Effect of establishing daycare centers.  
Most companies evaluated that the establishment of the daycare centers were a positive factor in promoting productivity. There are direct effects on increased productivity such as enhancing recruitment and lowering turnover and absenteeism,but a considerable investment effect is obvious in promoting   the motivation of workers as well as public relations and corporate image.

[Table 3] Effects of Establishing Daycare Facilities

        Enhancing      Decreased    Decreased      Increased     Improved
        Recruitment    Turnover     Absenteeism    Motivation    Corporate
                                                   of Worker     Image
Very much        8         7            3            13             17
Mostly so        8        11           16            15             15
So so            6         8            7             7             --
Not much change  9         8            9             2              3
Total           31        34           35            37             35

2)        Difficulties in the management of daycare facilities.
The companies were having difficulties due to excessive operation costs (11 companies) and a decreased number of children(nine companies). Especially the medium and small companies and schools which have few women workers pointed out difficulties due to the  decreased  number of  children. The reasons for the decrease were the reduced number of workers (three   companies) and  the parents' decision not to send  their children to daycare(five  companies). When the companies cannot provide a good quality of daycare, it finally leads to the parents' choosing not to send their children to daycare.

2. Examples of Different Types of Daycare

A. Linkage with Local Daycare

1)        Designate private daycare centers.
G Company which manufactures men's formal suites designated a private daycare center near the company in 1992 and provides a daycare allowance for the workers who use the center. Because the workers’ residential homes were centered around the factory, it was possible to designate the nearby daycare center.

2)        Support local daycare.
S Group is a representative company which supports local day care projects. In  order to  promote the  welfare of  the urban  low income stratum through daycare projects, it  has a plan to establish a  total of 97 daycare centers between 1989 and 2000, investing US$264,000,000(237.6 billion won).  L Group also supports local communities and local daycare facilities.

B. Consortium Centers

  In banking industries, there has been a high demand for daycare because they employ large numbers of women between 25~34 years of age and the labor unions are active.  Some banks have established daycare centers, but it was not easy to establish such centers because banks are dispersed into branches. It was also difficult for the workers to bring their children to downtown areas due to traffic jams.   Therefore, the bank worker's unions decided that the form of the day care at work was not suitable, and changed the plan to establish daycare facilities in local areas. The banks will jointly invest money to establish and operate consortium centers in local areas. They plan to operate about 10 daycare centers in Seoul.

1. Prospects of the Needs for Daycare.

The size of the stratum which need daycare in each company is an important variable in choosing the type of employer supported childcare services. In [Table 4] the average number of female workers per company was calculated by dividing the total number of female workers in each industrial field by the number of companies in each field. According to the table, the size of the company should reach that of 500 employees or more to constitute 300 female employees or more. Among the companies with 500 999 employees, those with more than 300 regular female employees are textile, clothes manufacturing, and communication facilities industries. As a non manufacturing business, hospitals belong to the category.

[Table 4] The Average Number of Regular Female Employees per Company
Classified by Industrial Field and Employee Size

                          100~199   200~299   300~499   500~999   over 1000
Manufacturing                44.9      77.0     115.4     202.2       787.6
Textile                      59.5     107.6      194.5     375.9      1,162.6
Clothing, leather              90.6     165.6      249.0     368.6        783.2
Pulp, paper                  25.0      42.5      54.6     100.3        803.0
Publication, printing           37.6      70.3      107.1     118.6        405.8
Oil extract                   48.4      76.5      45.8      48.5        223.0
Chemical products            36.9      60.1      132.3      142.3        444.6
Other machineries            26.2      43.0       51.5      103.2        301.6
(General, special machineries, home appliances)
Office appliances              42.3     101.6     107.6      213.7      2,644.0
Electronic machineries          52.3      86.6     127.2      228.3       804.9
Communication facilities        56.0     109.1     157.0      304.8     1,635.0
(electronic pipe, communication equipment, audiovisual, soundtrack)
Medical, precision             65.1      111.0     142.9      206.0       771.0
Automobiles                  28.1      49.0      75.9       89.3       323.6
Other transportation            15.4      41.1       35.7       81.1       418.5
Finance                      59.8      104.0     147.0     259.2       544.4
Insurance, pension             42.4       42.1     101.4     100.6       415.9
Finance related services        54.5        75.2     109.1     204.0       503.7
Information processing          58.0      52.9     101.7     121.7       -
Research and development       30.1      64.1      72.2     113.0       294.8
Education                    35.2      66.0     107.6     155.0       375.2
Health                       93.2     169.0     257.6     467.0     1,169.5
Recreation and culture          36.2      73.6      73.7     214.0       490.5
Source: Ministry of Labor (1995) Report on the Survey of the Labor Situation by Industries, pp. 70~113.

  The number of companies with more than 500 employees accounts for less than 1% of all the companies in manufacturing field. Further the number of companies where women workers are concentrated such as textile and clothing is rapidly decreasing. In contrast, where the number of married women is increasing, in the service industries except the health related sector, the number of female workers per company is less than the average in the manufacturing industry. This shows that the choice of on or near site center service has limits.

  [Table 5]  reports findings on the industries with more than 300 female employees per company, in order to survey the industrial sector which can provide the on site daycare services. Those marked with ◐and ●are the industries which are expected to have a high demand for daycare considering the age structure of female workers among industries with more than 300 female employees per company. Among the manufacturing industries, these are machinery related companies and audiovisual and soundtrack industries, which are growing industrial sectors. In non manufacturing industries, as in foreign countries, the demand for daycare is expected to increase in such knowledge intensive industry areas as research and development.

[Table 5] Industries with More than 300 Female Employees per Company
Regular Employees 500-999          More Than 1000 Regular Employees
Meat, fruits, and other food          Drinks and others Home appliances
Textile, spinning            ●     Textile, spinning    ●   Office appliances  ◐
Clothing                  ●     Clothing           ●   Electromotor machines
Shoes                           Shoes                  Electric control
Commercial printing        ●     Wood, cork              Electronic pipe
Other electronics           ●     Pulp, paper        ●   Communication
Electronic pipe                   Publication              Audidvisual, sound ◐
Audiovisual, sound        ◐   Commercial printing  ●  Optical instruments◐
Furniture                     Chemical products   ◐   Furniture
                              Other nonmetal          Other manufacturing
                              Structural metal
retail                        Finance            ◐   Education          ●
Communication               Insurance and pension      Health             ◐
Health                      Research and              Recreation and  
                            development         ◐    culture            ◐
                            Business service
Source: Ministry of Labor (1995) A Report on the Industrial Situation
Note : ◐indicates the industries where the average age of female workers is between 25~29 years of age,  and ●indicates those with the average between 30~34 years of age.

2. Prospects for Industrial Support for Daycare

A. Plans to Support the Establishment of Daycare at Work

  According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labor in 1995, 206 companies (63.8%) of the total of 323 companies are classified as those having responsibilities to establish daycare centers at work. The remaining 117 companies (36.2%) have less than 300 female employees. Looking at the industrial distribution, manufacturing industries comprise 62.6% of these and non manufacturing industries comprise 36.8%. Among the non-manufacturing industries, hospitals account for 15.3%.

  As to why the companies have not established daycare centers yet, 52.6% of the respondents said it is because there are no or very few women workers who need daycare. Among the remainder, 15.8% mentioned the burden of costs, and 15.1% said they did not see the need to employ married women. There is not much difference between those that are responsible for the establishment of daycare centers  and those that are not in respect to how they mention these reasons.

[Table 6] Reasons Why Companies Have Not Established Daycare Center

                              Total         Responsible         Others
No or very few workers            170( 52.6)     104( 50.5)         66( 56.4)
who need daycare
Costs too much to establish          51( 15.8)      32( 15.5)         19( 16.2)
daycare centers
Difficult standards for              11(  3.4)       9(  4.4)          2(  1.7)
establishment and operation
Harmful or dangerous environment    12(  3.7)       9(  4.4)          3(  2.6)
of work place
No need to employ married women    47( 14.6)      31( 15.1)         16( 13.7)
Others                           32(  9.9)      21( 10.2)         11(  9.4)
Total¹                         323(100.0)     206(100.0)        117(100.0)
1. Excluding the three companies that did not respond

  Of the 323 responding companies, 87 companies (26.9%) answered that they have plans to establish a daycare center in the future. Surprisingly, there was no meaningful difference between the responsible companies and those who are not as is seen on [Table 7].  However, when analyzing the difference between the establishment plan by distinguishing between the industries with more than 100 married women workers and those with less than 100, there was a statistically meaningful difference. While 33.8% of those companies with more than 100 married women had a plan to establish daycare centers, only 20.0% of those with less than 100 did. Thus, the managerial condition of the personnel composition rather than legal responsibilities had more impact on the decision making of the companies.

[Table 7] Future Plans to Establish Daycare Centers
                Responsible                     Less than 100       More than 100
                Companies       Others         Married Women      Married Women
Have a plan     59(28.6)          28(23.9)            32(20.0)        52(33.8)
No plan        147(71.4)         89(76.1)           128(80.0)        102(66.2)
Total          206(100.0)       117(100.0)          160(100.0)        154(100.0)
                                             χ²=7.589 DF=1 P=0.006

B.  Evaluation and Future Prospects of Daycare Services Supported by Employer

  In order to survey the prospects for the various kinds of daycare services supported by the employer, 30 major companies that will take a lead in the development of the enterprise based welfare program were surveyed. Questionnaires were mailed to the persons in charge of the planning division, and 15 companies responded. The groups with few women workers such as heavy chemical industries did not respond. Because the number of responses is small, there is a caution in explanation. However the responses are meaningful because they indicate us the attitudes of major companies towards the various kinds of daycare services supported by the employers.

1)        Attitudes of companies towards family support.
First we asked about the responsibilities of the enterprises in solving the family problems of workers. Most companies, excluding one group, showed positive attitudes. They responded that the welfare system supportive of the family has already taken root and will continue to be expanded in the future. However,  diverse perspectives were found, from that of companies that recognize responsibility for solution of family problems in a limited way as related to increased productivity, to those that regard the problems  not only as related to productivity but as related to the broader social responsibility of a company. It was also found that male centered patriarchal attitudes are very strongly maintained in their answers such as "because it is a company where the head of the family is working" or "because the head of the family gives a lot of time for the company, the company has a responsibility in solving family problems."

  In Korean companies, a paternalistic welfare system has developed, where the employer feels a considerable amount of responsibility for the families of workers in place of the head of the family in traditional society. A large part of the enterprise based welfare system covers workers and their families, for example, houses funded by the company, family allowances, family medical service, assistance for wedding ceremonies and funerals, and children's education allowances.

  As paternalism is a characteristic of Korean companies, and as a characteristic is expressed in a uniquely Korean way to promote productivity, they will have few ideological conflicts in supporting daycare for workers. As companies expand the welfare system under the equation that workers equal male heads of the family, some leading companies will naturally expand the welfare to education allowance for children of school age leading to an education allowance for children of pre school age leading, in turn, to and support for daycare.
2)        Evaluation of the daycare service supported by employers.
We asked what are the present stages of the various kinds of daycare service systems supported by employers in order to comparatively evaluate them.

  According to the survey responses, companies showed the most positive attitudes towards the reemployment system and the flexible work hours system which are comprehensive personnel policies to support daycare. This is because the number of the companies which already have a flexible work hours system or are in the process of introducing the system for managerial reasons other than daycare assistance was relatively high. At the same time, the companies have positive attitudes towards reemployment since they are already without too much legal and institutional burden, re employing those women who have the will and capacity for it.

  In evaluating daycare services, the companies were in general negative in comparison to the personnel policies. They showed relatively positive attitudes towards assisting local daycare centers. Next they favored the establishment of daycare at work, and the least preferred alternative was to pay daycare allowances.

  The large industries that are exposed to the demands to assume their social responsibilities tend to be positive towards assisting local daycare centers because it will mean fulfilling their social responsibilities, and as a one time investment, it does not constitute a continuous burden. Such attitudes of leading groups are desirable in the sense that they can induce the expansion of public daycare in partnership with local governments. Especially, it is expected to be a means to promote the participation of big industries that do not have strong needs for daycare assistance due to their employment structure.

3)        Opinions on the linkage between local daycare and daycare at work.
The companies were asked their opinions on the linkage between local daycare centers and daycare at work, from the perspective that daycare at work results in a gap among industries in their welfare enefits. But most companies were positive. Some of them agreed in principle, but many pointed out concrete measures such as opening the facilities to local community citizens and sharing a partial cost of daycare projects in the local community. In contrast, the companies that are in the process of evaluating the day care at work were opposed, saying that there is a high probability that the local daycare centers might not be able to fulfil the daycare needs of their employees, in which case the companies will be forced to provide separate daycare facilities for them, resulting in a dual burden for the companies. This indicates that diverse approaches should be taken according to the size of the burden of daycare felt by the companies.


1. Basic Directions for Policies and Strategy Making

  In order to promote the industrial support of daycare, the governmental assistance to companies should be drastically increased, and a policy change should be made from the previous emphasis on establishing a daycare center at work to that of diversifying the ways of sharing the costs of daycare. The policy change is desirable from the perspective of the development of an entire daycare system. The entire daycare system should be operated centering around local daycare, while daycare at work can complement the functions that local daycare cannot cover, and the expansion of local daycare can be promoted through the sharing of daycare costs by the employers.

  Therefore, the basic directions for daycare at work should emphasize not only the expansion of the labor supply of women workers, the promotion of skilled women workers, and the promotion of workers’ welfare, all of the which are important, but also the expansion of the daycare system through participation of the companies. Under such basic directions, the following policy tasks are suggested.

2. A Linkage System Between Local Daycare and Daycare at Work

  1) Governmental Assistance for the Local Linkage Daycare Service
  At the present time, assistance is given from employment insurance for childcare leave and childcare at work for the promotion of women's employment. The position of this paper is that the daycare service supported by the employers should be diversified, and the government should expand the daycare at work by diversifying its support systems. The present assistance for day care from employment insurance should be strengthened, and at the same time new measures should be sought to assist various forms of daycare services supported by employers.

  Governmental assistance is required for the companies which provide daycare services in connection with local daycare centers in addition to the establishment of daycare centers at work. When the company has a contract with local daycare centers so that its employees can use the facilities and the employer assists or shares a part of daycare costs, the government should pay a certain proportion of the daycare costs that a company pays to the local daycare centers from the employment insurance fund.

  2) Forming a Basis for a Voucher System
  The United States expanded the linkage type daycare service through the development of daycare chains which secured daycare facilities in many areas. The federal and local governments made efforts to expand such services including a voucher system. It is necessary to form a basis for the implementation of a voucher system in order to expand a linkage type system between daycare at work and local daycare centers. For this purpose, local governments should first of all develop various kinds of information programs on the daycare centers in the local community and take charge of all the information regarding daycare facilities. Based on this, the local government should develop the measures to link companies and local facilities by issuing vouchers.

  3) Promote Industrial Assistance to Local Daycare Projects.
  Tax incentives should be strengthened so that companies can expand daycare investment for local community. It is suggested that the provision on the special case of donations allowed by the existing  Tax Exemption Control Law should be revised to define as legal those "the donations spent for the daycare facilities established under the Special Act for Daycare." By recognizing all the investment in  the daycare centers as donations, it is possible to promote industrial in vestment in such centers.

3. Expansion of Daycare at Work and Flexible Management

  1) Relaxation of Regulations Related to Establishment and Expansion of Tax Incentives
  Daycare centers at work provide longer services than other daycare facilities, and additionally, when they are established at work, there are high probabilities that they can be situated in dangerous or harmful environments. Therefore, although the companies are demanding the relaxation of the standards for facilities and teacher child ratio, the existing standards seems reasonable. If good quality daycare is not provided, daycare investment can end in failure because the parents will not send their children to the daycare centers. Considering that the daycare centers at work tend to have many problems from the perspectives of daycare teachers and children, it would be difficult to relax any more standards.

  Although it is not desirable to relax the standards for the facilities and employees, it is recommended that the regulations regarding construction should be relaxed in order to promote daycare at work. Companies go through many difficulties in getting permits to build daycare centers especially in changing the purpose of the building. It is recommended that the relevant provisions of the Construction Act be revised so that the purpose of the building can be changed easily to build daycare at work.

  Further, it is recommended that such regulations as measurement rate, building to land ratio, and  height restrictions be relaxed in building of commercial and industrial buildings when they secure a daycare space of certain size. Then the employers will be more encouraged to build daycare centers, resulting in the expansion of daycare centers at work.

  2) Proposal to Promote Daycare Centers at Work for Local Community
  Big industries should consider the establishment of daycare centers for local communities in the way that bank industries have done. In this study, there was a case when a local industrial complex opened its daycare facilities not only to its employees but also to nearby companies and local community citizens, increasing the investment effect of day care. Some industries were considering ways to establish daycare centers centering around a local area so that all the employees of the affiliated company can use them. As such, big industries can establish daycare facilities centering around a local area and open them to employees, all the branch companies and nearby companies, and local community citizens, thus promoting the motivation of workers and improving the corporate image.

  3) Increased Assistance for Daycare at Work
  At the present time the costs of establishing daycare centers are covered by low interest loans from the national pension and the employment insurance. However, the government, as a more radical measure  than such financial assistance for the construction expenses, plans to establish 33 daycare centers in the major industrial complexes or dense industrial areas in 1997 and provide US$300,000(270 million won) for establishing each of the facilities for free. In the future, such free financial assistance for the cost of construction should be expanded for the daycare faculties of the medium and small industries and for the medium and small industries united type of daycare centers.

  Along with the assistance for the construction cost, the employment insurance assists the operation of the on site daycare centers by providing one half of the salaries of teachers. The current assistance level should be raised to provide all the salaries of teachers. Such assistance should be provided to the day care centers at work which have a certain percentage of children of the employees of other companies or of local community citizens as well as provided to small and medium industries.


Cho, Un(1995),  "What  is Daycare  at  Work?," In   Edited by Our   Children   Growing Up Together, Another Culture.
Lee,   Juho(1996),  "Systematic   Approach  to   the  Problem   of  Women's       Employment ," In KDI Policy Studies, Korean Development Institute.
Lee, Sukmu(1994), Children's  Daycare Business  Management and Economics,    
      Seoul Hyehwadang.
Local Community Daycare Centers Association(1993), The Situation of Daycare  
      Facilities and Alternatives.
Kang, Soonhee(1996), "Promoting  the Reemployment  of Married  Women and    
      the Employment Insurance System," Report of the  Academic Seminar in  
       Commemoration of the Women's Week,  Korean Women's Development  
Kim, Uimyung(1992), "Measurement of the Korean Industrial  Welfare System,"  
      Korean Social Welfare Studies, Vol. 20.
Koh,  Jinsoo(1996),  "Problems  of  Day  Care  at  Work  and  Proposals  for            
      Revision," National Economics(January).
Korean Education Studies  Association Division of  Children's Education(1995),    
      Policy Directions for the Protection and Education of Children.
Korean Women's Association  of Democracy  and Sisterhood(1994),  "Demands    
      for Childcare Leave and Childcare at Work and a Proposal for Supplies,"
Paper presented at the 1994 Equal Employment Symposium.
Ministry of Health and Welfare(1996), Guidelines for Day Care Projects.
Ministry of Health and Welfare(1995), White Paper on Health and Welfare.
Yun, Kunyung and  Jooyong Im(1993),  The Situation  of the  Ta. Assistance      
      System   and Directions   for Revision,   Korean Research  Institute  on        


Posted by KWWA
The Equal Pay Principles and related policy issues in Korea KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 15:02:53, 조회 : 434

The Equal Pay Principle and related Policy Issues in Korea / by Taehong Kim
/ KWDI Research Reports/Women's Studies Forum, Vol.10/December 1994  

*This paper is the condensation of the '93 Research Report 200-10 by the
KWDI research team Kim Tae-hong and Yang Seung-joo.

  Kim Tae-hong(Senior Researcher, KWDI)


  The principle of equal pay for equal work was introduced in Korean
through the Equal Employment Opportunity Act which was amended in 1989. The
principle stipulates that an employer shall not discriminate against
employees by gender in pay or wages if their work is of equal value. The
effective implementation of the principle is closely related to a company's
pay system, wage bargaining structure, labor relations, implementing body,
and procedures to enforce the principle, etc. However, since the pay system
in Korea is different from that of other countries, there are problems in
the de facto application of the principle in Korea. In this paper, the
present systems of pay management in companies and implementation of the
equal pay principle in Korea are reviewed. And policy issues and
countermeasures to enhance effectiveness of the principle are discussed.


  1. History of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act

  The concepts concerning the equal rights of both sexes in employment were
clearly materialized in the Labor Standard Act enacted in 1953. According
to Article 5 of the Act, an employer shall not discriminate against the
labor conditions of workers by the reasons of gender, nationality,
religion, the social status, etc. Violation of the law results in
nullifying the labor contract between workers and an employer and he is
also fined an amount not exceeding US $6,250(5 million Korean Won) (amended
Jan. 13, 1990).
  However, because Article 5 of the Act has remained virtually a dead
letter due to the habitual discrimination prevailing in companies, the
equal pay principle has not been realized in Korea. Since the enforcement
of the Labor Standard Act has not been sufficient to eliminate the habitual
discrimination against employees by gender, women's organizations have
requested the enactment of the Equal Employment Opportunity as a new
special law. In response to this request, the Democratic Justice Party
presented the bill before the Parliament at the end of 1986, one year
before the Presidential Election. The bill was passed by the Parliament in
October 1987 and became effective as of April 1, 1988. During this process,
the law, which was copied in part from the Equal Employment Opportunity Act
of Japan, was not fully examined and discussed so that clauses regarding
the equal pay principle were not included in the law. Since then, the
desire to include such clauses has been clearly expressed by an activated
labor union movement and in particular by the active participation of
female union members in the movement. Recognizing the pressures of public
opinion for the enactment of the equal pay for equal work principle, the
Parliament passed an epoch-making reform bill on March 29, 1989. At last,
the clauses regarding equal pay principle were included in Paragraph 2 of
Article 6 of the amended Equal Employment Opportunity Act.

  2. The Law's Coverage and Limitations
  According to Article 3 of the law, all businesses or establishments with
5 or more regular workers are affected by the Equal Employment Opportunity
Act, that is, the same as in the Labor Standard Act, except those  
businesses or establishments designated by a Presidential Decree. For
example, civil servants are not covered by the law. However, civil servants
engaged in simple manual jobs can be covered by the law within the
permitted limit of the laws and regulations for civil servants. Public
education servants are not covered by the law, whereas teachers working for
private educational facilities can be covered in the permitted limit of
laws for private education. Korean employees of foreign companies and of
the American Forces in Korea are also covered by the law.
  The equal pay principle can be the most easily enforced if it is applied
within an establishment. To judge whether the job of the sexes is of the
value, criterion such as skill, physical and mental effort, responsibility
and working conditions are generally used. But the above mentioned
standards should be compared and evaluated within the establishment. The
equal pay for equal work principle can easily be applied to the job of both
men and women if they engage in same kind of work, whereas it is difficult
to judge whether they do equal value work if they engage in different kinds
of work. When labor market is divided into male dominated jobs, the best
way to judge whether their work is of equal value is to depend on the
method of job evaluation mentioned frequently in international comparative
  If the equal pay principle is applied only within an establishment where
male dominated work is segregated from female dominated work, it may be
difficult to find male jobs which can be matched to female jobs for the
purpose of comparison by gender. Even if male and female work can be
matched, comparison by gender may be possible only through a job
evaluation, costs for the evaluation and lack of fairness in the job
evaluation can become problems. For this reason, many researchers insist
that the scope of job comparison for application of the equal pay principle
should extend all the jobs in the same kind of business or industry.
Actually, however, there may be disparities in the salary or wage levels
within the same kind of business or industry. This disparity may be caused
by the differences in the characteristics of companies, for example,
gender, profit rates, capital-equipment ratios, labor productivity, degree
of market concentration, etc., though companies may be involved in the same
kind of business or industry. Therefore, without allowing for salary and
wage differences due to the above mentioned factors, it may not be
realistic to extend the wage bargaining pattern in company level to
industrial bargaining system. Collective bargaining by the within the same
kind of business or industry is possible only when the following conditions
are satisfied : 1) the working conditions including wages and salaries
should be similar, 2) a bargaining organization which is responsible for
the collective bargaining should be formed, and 3) a mutual understanding
between labor and management should exist.
  Therefore, the transition to a wage bargaining system may be possible
when the above mentioned prerequisites are satisfied. Since comparison of
jobs by gender is closely related to the bargaining structure, the
comparison should be conducted within an establishment in this situation.
However, some kinds of businesses or industries, such as the cotton
spinning business, the raw silk business, and the bus/taxi business, have
already expanded the comparison scopes for collective bargaining from
individual establishments to businesses or industries of same kind as that
of the individual establishment.
  This collective bargaining by the same kind of businesses or industries
are possible because factors such as management style, ability to pay, and
working conditions within the same kind of businesses are similar. In this
sense, it is desirable to expand the comparison scopes if collective
bargaining within the same kind of business or industry is to be possible
in the future.
  3. Definitions of wages and Equal Work

A. Definition of Wages
  While the Equal Employment Opportunity Act stipulates the equal pay for
equal work principle, the wages to be allocated under the "equal pay
principle"are not clearly defined in the law. However, though the Equal
Employment Opportunity Act is a special law of the Labor Standard Act, the
regulations of wages in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
  According to Article 18 of the Labor Standard Act, wages are defined as
"money paid to workers by an employer to compensate for the worker's
labor." In this sense, the wages allocated under the equal pay principle
include regular and special payments. In this, special payment include
retirement allowances, allowances to the compensate for price increases,
allowances for commuting, family allowances, year-end allowances, weekly,
monthly, and yearly allowances, medical insurance fees, food allowances,
holiday allowances, and allowances for housing, etc. However, the following
are excluded from the legal wages; that is, expenses for congratulations
and condolences, allowance for dismissal, accident compensation, and
welfare facility fees. The definition of wages in Korea is similar to that
which is recommended by international organizations for the application of
the equal pay principle.

B. Definition of Equal Work
  According t 2of Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Act, standards for job evaluation to judge equal value work are
defined as four factors-skill, effort, responsibility, and working
conditions which workers require to accomplish their jobs. In Article 5 of
the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of the Ministry of Labor, the concept
of the equal value work is stipulated, equal value work can be understood
as work which has the same or similar value regardless of the gender of the
worker. Or if the tasks of the two genders are considered to be different,
equal value work can be understood as a task in itself if it is recognized
as the same value work through hob evaluation. And, in this, "skill,
effort, responsibility, and working conditions" are related to the job
contents tasks required for job accomplishment. In detail, 1)skill can be
evaluated by objective levels of capability or skill to accomplish the job,
such as license, acquired experience, etc.; 2) effort refers the physical
and mental forces necessary for the accomplishment of the job;3)
responsibility refers to the internal factors in a task or to the
dependence of the employer on the task; and 4)the working conditions refer
to the workplace environment, such as noise, heat, physical or chemical
risk level, etc. Furthermore, to determine whether the work, is an equal
value work characteristics such as the workers educational attainments,
work experiences, and years of continuous service should be considered in a
comprehensive way in addition to the 4 criteria which are mentioned in the
2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
  In this sense, the equal value work defined in the Korean law could be
understood as a very wide concept which may include identical work, similar
work, and equal value work.
C. Equal Value Work and Job Evaluation    
  To concretize down the equal pay of equal value work principle stipulated
in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, an objective and rational job
evaluation system should be introduced. According to the law, to determine
whether the job between men and women is an equal value work, the 4 factors
-skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions- and other factors
should be comprehensively considered. In the process of job evaluation, one
of the most important things to consider is how to measure and evaluate
work by using these factors and, furthermore, how to assign weights to the
factors and how to combine them. That is, the formulation of a set of
criteria and methods of evaluation to access equal value work is a major
concern in job evaluation.
  The majority of companies in other countries have their own wage systems
which are usually based on job evaluations where the criteria and methods
for the evaluation of equal value work are established through extensive
experience with job analyses and job evaluations. Of course, western
capitalistic  societies may also experience difficulties in job evaluation
in spite of their extensive experience in job evaluation.
  The difficulties are mainly due to by the fact that the values of the
evaluators, sexual prejudice, the selection of evaluation factors and the
weights assigned to factors may prevent fair job evaluation. For this
reason, systematic and unified job evaluation where the criteria and
evaluation the weights assigned to factors may prevent fair job evaluation
system is not fully developed in Korea because like Japan, the seniority
wage system, where seniority may be a more important factor in determining
wages than a job-related wage system, is prevalent. Because the equal value
evaluation system and the job evaluation system are not consistent with
each other in the application of the equal pay principle, job analysis and
job evaluation may be introduced not for the purpose of comparison of the
value of men's and women's work but for the purpose of wage management or
manpower management.
  In this sense, scholars may take different positions in interpreting of
the Item 2, Paragraph 2, Article 6 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
First of all, according to realistic interpretation, they argue that the
four criteria-skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions-are
examples of many other criteria which could be included in the job
evaluation when considering the Korean situation. In this sense,
satisfaction of the above 4 criteria is not only the requisite for equal
value work. With this kind of interpretation, Lee(1989) argued that as long
as the wage determining factors are applied equally to both male female
work, there is no gender wage discrimination. In contrast to this point of
view, others argue that the items described in the law include the standard
job evaluation factors which are related to job duties, since the
comparison of equal value work by gender should be done by comparing the
job's characteristics and the level of difficulties required for job's

D. Legal Wage Disparities
  The Ministry of Labor enacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Regulation
to provide terms which are necessary for equal opportunity in employment
for both men and women. Based on the terms of equal pay for equal work
expressed in Article 5 of the Regulation, those cases which violate the
equal pay for equal work principle as stipulate in Item2, Article 6 of the
Equal Employment Opportunity Act are listed as follows.
  First, women in general are considered to be secondary earners in
households. For this reason, employers tend to pay female workers less in
comparison to their male counterparts who engage in the same kind of work.
Second, regardless of the quality or quantity of the labor, employers tend
to pay female workers less than their male counterparts in the welfare
related allowances such as family allowances, allowances for education,
commuting allowances, allowances for making winter pickles, etc. Third,
employers tend to apply different criteria by gender when he determines an
employee's grade or promotion, which results in discrimination against
wages by gender. Fourth, women tend to receive lower wages because
employers may think that more costs are related to women than men for the
former's maternal privileges. Fifth, wages for equal value work may be paid
unequally by gender without any rational reason.
  The following cases are not considered to be discrimination in the wage
system. First though male and female workers undertake the same or similar
kind of works in an establishment, the wages may be paid unequally by
gender if the wages are determined according to objective and rational
service, job ranks, etc. Second, the wages by gender may be decided
unequally if they are determined according to the job evaluation or
capability of workers, when the differences in capability or achievements
can be identified by objective and rational criteria.
  However, it is not easy to determine whether the real differences in
wages by gender are based on rational reason or on sex discrimination. If
an employer cannot prove his fairness in determining wages by gender, they
are judged to be determined by sex discrimination. This means that the
different levels of wages based on rational factors other than gender are
not illegal discrimination.


  Implementation of the equal for equal work principle os closely related
to the Remuneration management policies in a company. In particular, since
most wage systems in Korea are not based on job analyses or job
evaluations, applications of the principle is limited. The majority of
companies in Korea have adopted a seniority based wage system. Only foreign
companies, foreign investment companies, and some domestic companies have
adopted the job-duty based wage system for production workers. But almost
no Korean company has adopted job related wage system. the seniority based
wage system, which is the prevailing system in Korea, is defined as a wage
determining system based on characteristics, such as educational
attainment, age, years of continuous service, sex, etc. The majority of the
companies surveyed adopted the equal pay principle when the worker's level
of education was the same. The following cases of wage discrimination by
gender have been observed in the surveyed companies.
  1. Starting Grade and Salary
  The ranks and grades of new workers are directly related to the levels of
wages. Therefore, gender differences in starting ranks and grades for those
with equal levels of education cause wage disparities by gender. These wage
disparities cannot be narrowed with years of continuous service if the
promotions are slower for female workers than for their male counterparts.
  Of course, to determine whether the wage disparities are caused by gender
bias requires close examination of a company's wage management policies and
manpower management policies regarding not only the new worker's positions
but also the gender differences in the actual and potential productivity of
the new workers. However, considering that the majority of Korean companies
practice a seniority based wage system, the company may not depend on an
objective job analysis or job evaluation but on ascribed qualifications
such as educational attainment to determine the starting salary. The
existence of separated wage tables by gender for equally educated workers
reveals the sexual discrimination in the company.
  Therefore, in this research a case study was conducted to find out how
companies in Korea set starting rank and grade according to educational
attainment and sex. The analysis was done in 33 companies which utilized a
seniority based wage system. But because many companies add grades to the
men's starting grade if they have had military experience men with no
military experience were selected for comparative purposes.
  First of all, concerning clerks with college level education, a great
number of companies did not recruit female workers with college degrees.
Therefore, there are no wage tables available for them. Among 23 companies
in which female college graduates were recruited, only 7 provided equal
starting salaries by gender and the remaining 16 provided different
starting salaries by gender. Out of the 16 companies, 10 assigned different
starting grades for women and the remaining 6 companies assigned equal
ranks but different grades by gender. Similar patterns could be found for
clerks with a junior choose level of education. The companies where equal
starting salaries were given to male and female workers with college level
education also gave equal starting salaries for the junior college
graduates. Companies which gave different starting salaries for college
educated workers by gender also gave different starting salaries for junior
college graduates.
  However, this policy was not applied to high-school graduates. In this
study, the starting salaries for clerks and production workers by gender
were analyzed for 31 companies where both male and female high-school
graduated workers were recruited. Only 4 companies assigned equal grades
for them, while the remaining 27 companies assigned different grades. Out
of the 27 companies, 20 assigned different starting grades and ranks for
male and female workers, though they have equal educational attainments.
And 7 companies assigned the same rank but different grades by gender. For
production workers with a high school level of educational in the 31
companies, only 3 assigned equal rank while the remaining 28 companies
assigned different ranks by gender. Out of the 28 companies, 16 assigned
different ranks and 12 assigned the same rank but different grades by
  According to the findings in the above case studies, a great number of
companies in Korea assigned different ranks by gender for workers with
equal educational attainments. In particular, for workers with high school
education, the majority of companies assigned different ranks by gender.
When asked why different ranks or grades were assigned to workers with
equal educational attainment, the majority of representatives of labor
unions or wage management managers responded saying that the job cuties for
male and female workers are different.
  This study of starting positions by gender reveals that the majority of
production workers with high school education engaged in different job
duties by gender, while the majority of clerks with high school education  
engaged in almost the same job duties by gender, implying that their
reasons for being assigned different ranks for similar job duties by gender
may have no rational ground. In addition to this, though male and female
workers may perform different job duties, a great proportion of the
differences in starting salaries by gender si caused by sex discrimination
because the majority of the companies which different ranks or grades by
gender did not determine the starting salary based on a job analysis or

  2. Elimination of Wage Discrimination and Burdens of Labor Costs

  The majority of the companies studied which have adopted a seniority
based wage system tend to determine the starting salary by personal
characteristics. The equal pay principle in companies in Korea, hence, can
be defined more realistically as equal pay for equal seniority rather than
equal pay for work(Of course, for companies which have adopted job based
wage system or job ability wage system, the equal pay for equal work or the
equal pay for equal ability policies should be applied in the companies,
respectively). In eliminating wage discrimination by gender under the equal
pay principle, additional labor costs are inevitable to the company within
the present wage structure. In this sense, the additional labor costs which
may be burdened some for a company are estimated through the computation of
the differences in the starting salary so as to provide basic data for
policy formulation.  
  Actually the increased labor costs caused by elimination of differences
in the starting salaries by gender are greater than the starting salary
differences multiplied by the number of workers with equal educational
attainments, because the adjustments of the starting salaries lead
inevitably to the adjustment of the wages of workers who, in particular,
have more years of continuous service. The differences in the starting
salaries of workers by levels of education are shown in [Table 1]. As can
be seen from the table, to eliminate wage discrimination by gender, the
starting salary for women should increase by the amount of US $50.00-$87.00
(40 to 70 thousand Korea Won). By level of education, more money should be
paid to those with less education.
  By number of workers, more money should be paid for companies with fewer
workers so as to remove the differences in the starting salaries by gender.
This implies that the additional labor costs for implementation of Ministry
of Labor policy is to resort to administrative orders first and then to
judicial litigation for companies which violate the principle by the number
of workers. This procedure enhances the efficiency of the principle and
lessens the labor costs for the company.

[Table 1] Difference in Starting Salaries Between Male and Female Workers
by Size of Company and Level of Educational Attainment
                                               unit: thousand Korean won
                       299 or less    300-999    1,000 or more  Total
College Graduates          67.5        68.1          29.8        51.2
Junior College Graduates   55.7        63.0           7.0        46.2
High School, Clerks        79.6        68.8          41.0        61.0
High School, Production    56.6        77.9          59.9        65.8


  As in other countries, there are administrative organizations and
procedures, judicial organizations and procedures, and labor/management
autonomous organizations and procedures for implementing the equal pay for
equal work principle in Korea. The administrative organizations and
procedures for elimination of wage discrimination by gender are the
Employment Problem Mediation Committee and Labor Inspection Administrative
Organizations which deal with gender discrimination problems in a
professional way. The judicial organizations are the courts. Finally, the
organizations and procedures for autonomous implementation of the equal pay
for equal work principle through labor/management relations are : 1)
appeals to employer for settlement of the wage disparities by females who
are discriminated against or by a labor union(In this case, the employer
can request The Services of the Complaint Settlement Service within his
establishment); 2) appeals to Grievance Committee members who are assigned
by the Labor/Management Relations Act; and 3) resolution of the problem by
collective bargaining(See [Figure 1]).

  1. Results Achieved by Administrative Organizations

  The administrative organizations which are responsible for the
implementation of the equal pay for equal work principles in Korea are: 1)
local labor offices established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act; 2)
the labor inspection system, as a professional administrative organization
to supervise the company's implementation of the Labor Standards Act and to
prompt rapid action to protect workers' rights; and 3) the Employment
Problem Mediation Committee, as a specially established administrative
organization by the enactment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, for
the investigation and resolution of disputes regarding sex discrimination
and maternal protection. Of course, in addition to these implementing
organizations, there are methods to resolve disputes by depending on
prosecuting attorneys. However, this method is not dealt with in this paper
since the attorneys' main responsibility does not involve disputes over
gender-related wage disparities.

[Figure 1] The Procedures for Settlement of Wage Disparity in Korea
                   +----------+         +------------------------+
              +----+ Employer +--------]+   Complaint Settlement +-]②, ③
              |    +----------+         |   Service              |
              |                         +------------------------+
              |    +-----------------------+
           ① |    | Grievance Committee   +-]②, ③
            +-+----+ Members               |
            | |    +-----------------------+
            | |    +-----------------------+
            | +----+ Collective Bargaining +-]②, ③
            |      +-----------------------+
            |                               +---------------------+
            |        +--------------------+ | Employment Problem  |
            | ②-a  ++ Local Labor Office +]+ Mediation Committee |②-b,③
            |  +----++--------------------+ +---------------------+
            |  |    |+-------------------+
Female      |②|    ++ Labor Inspector   |-]②-b, ③
Workers     |  |     +-------------------+
Labor       |  |②-b +----------------------+
Union       |  +-----+ Prosecuting Authority|-]③
            |        +----------------------+
            | ③     +------------------+
            +--------+ Court            |
Note: 1) ① labor management autonomous resolution procedure
         ② administrative resolution procedures
         ③ judicial resolution procedures
2) the procedure can be implemented regardless of the order of ①,②,③
3) the arrow refers to a request.

A. Labor Administrative Organizations
  If violations of Article 5 of the Labor Standards Act, i.e., the
principle of equal treatment by gender, occur in an establishment, the
workers can make legal petitions, indictments, or accusations by written,
verbal, or other methods to the labor inspectors who are working in a local
labor office or in the Ministry of Labor. Based on the legal petitions,
indictments, or accusations, the labor inspector should investigate the
establishment immediately to expose any violations, like detectives in a
crime case. However, if the workers make an accusation, the inspector
should refer the mediation of the dispute to the Employment Problem
Mediation Committee. If the inspector finds any violations after
investigation of the dispute, he should request the employer to correct the
violation. If the violations are not corrected, the case can be brought to
the prosecuting attorneys. According to the manual of the labor inspectors,
they should finish the investigation within 2 months for an indictment or
accusation and within 20 days for other cases. If the labor inspector
discovers any gender discrimination in the process of supervision, he
should make an administrative order for correction of the discrimination.
If the case is not corrected within 20 days, 10 more days may be allowed
for the correction. If no corrections are made in an establishment, the
case should be sent to the prosecuting attorneys.
  After the promulgation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, out of
4,892 cases of violation detected by labor inspectors, 4,886 cases were
corrected during 1988 to third quarter of 1992. Only 4 cases were sent to
judicial authorities. Out of these 4, one case occurred in 1989, two in
1990, and one in 1991. The types of violation which occurred from 1988 to
third quarter of 1992 reveal that cases of retirement or dismissal are most
frequently observed (1,985 cases), followed by 1,484 cases involving leave
for child bearing,  290 cases involving recruitment, and 133 wage dispute
cases. The number of cases related to violations of wages and recruitment
are increasing.
  From April 10, 1993, there has been a policy of strong restrictions on
banks which fail to correct wage discrimination by gender. Because of this
strong policy enforcement, 42,000 existing female bank workers were adopted
same job position with comparable male workers. The wage table for female
workers was different from that for comparable male workers. But now the
wage table and the wage management system in the banks have also been
unified. Because of this, female workers may have an additional US $12.50
to $125.00(10,000 to 100,000Won) in their regular monthly pay. The Ministry
of Labor has eliminated gender discrimination through administrative
guidance in 29 out of 34 banks in Korea. The excluded 4 banks are the Korea
Longterm Credit Bank, Hana Bank, Hanmi Bank, and Korea Peace Bank because
there has been no female bank worker system from their establishment. And
the Ministry has played a significant role in guiding and supervising 105
second level banks and 30 conglomerates through the labor inspector system.
As of March 1993, the present status of gender discrimination in an
establishment reveals that 38 companies(29 second level banks and 9 out of
30 conglomerates) have already corrected their gender discrimination, but
the remaining 82 companies have still not corrected it. The types of
violations of the 82 uncorrected companies reveal that 70 companies(58
second level banks and 12 out of 30 conglomerates) practiced grade and wage
discrimination. 16 companies practiced promotion related discrimination(all
second level banks), 1 out of 30 conglomerates practiced discrimination in
retirement, 54 companies discriminated in leave for child bearing and
rearing, and 49 companies discriminated in recruitment. Along with this, by
December 1993, the Ministry of Labor strengthened the administrative
guidance in 1,161 establishments with 500 or more workers, and 1,045
establishments with 300-499 workers were ordered to correct gender
discrimination through self-inspection by March 1994. For the uncorrected
establishments by that date, the administrative guidance would be
strengthened beginning April 1994.
  As mentioned earlier, most of the administrative guidance and judicial
treatment for the elimination of wage disparities by gender are conducted
by labor inspectors. However, labor inspectors are responsible for many
things, including the problems of gender employment equality. And also,
there is an insufficient number of inspectors compared to their to their
responsibilities in supervising all of the companies. If the policy is
changed or other problems emerge, the ability to guide to and supervise the
enforcement of the equal pay principle can be resolved by increasing the
number of labor inspectors, particularly female inspectors, or by flexible
management of inspectors based on the medium and longterm labor policy
plan. However, since labor inspectors do not have exclusive
responsibilities for inspecting and resolving cases of wage disparities by  
gender, there may be limitations in dealing with the problems of wage
disparities by gender if the gender discrimination in wages occurs the
complex context of job duties or an ability based wage system.
B. The Employment Problem Mediation Committee
  The mediation of labor disputes by the Employment Problem Mediation
Committee, including the elimination of gender discrimination, is regulated
by Item 1 of Article 12 of the Enforcement Ordinance. The committee's work
starts upon receiving a request for mediation from the head of the local
labor office in the following types of cases:(1) if there are requests for
mediation from one party or both parties of the dispute (Item 1);(2) if
concerned persons do not accept the consultation, guidance, or
recommendations of the head of the local labor office(Item 2); and (3) if
the head of the local labor office recognizes the necessity of the
committee's mediation(Item 3). If the committee receives a request from one
party or both parties to resolve the dispute, the head of the local labor
office should finish the committee's mediation within 10 days. And the
concerned parties can cancel part or all of the request in written form at
any time before the mediation plans are prepared.
  If mediation  is requested, the committee can order an investigation of
the case(Article 15 of the Enforcement Ordinance), request the concerned
party or administrative body to attend a meeting or submit related
information, and provide other forms of cooperation(Article 18). The
committee may also hear the opinion of experts who have knowledge and
experience in the relevant field (Article 20) and hold a committee
meeting(Article 16 of the Enforcement Ordinance). Through this process, the
committee should prepare the mediation plans within 30 days and recommend
the concerned parties accept the mediation plans(Article 18).
  The concerned persons or organizations may have the right not to accept
the mediation plans. If one party of the dispute does not accept the
mediation plans, then they have no effect. In this case, the concerned
persons or organizations should seek another method to resolve the dispute.
If the mediation plans are accepted by the concerned persons or
organization, the committee should prepare a mediation report. A labor
contract which does not fulfill the criteria of the mediation report, for
example, in relation to working conditions, can be nullified in the related
parts of the contract. These nullified parts are determined by the criteria
which are set by the mediation report(Article 18). Regardless of the
success or failure of the mediation, the chairman of the committee should
report to the head of the local labor office. Based on this, the head of
the local labor office deploys labor inspectors to investigate whether
there are violations of relevant laws or regulations. If the inspectors
find violations, then the inspectors can give orders to correct them
immediately. If there is no correction within the predetermined time
period, the case should be sent to the prosecuting attorneys. Then if the
petitioner wants to resolve the dispute to get her former position back or
to get compensation for damages, a civil suit should be filed. If the
concerned persons or organizations accept the mediation plan, then they
must sign the mediation report.
  Only 2 cases(① a retirement case in the Herbal Medical Hospital of
Taejon University due to marriage, mediated by Taejon Employment Problem
Mediation Committee on April 18, 1990, and ② an illegal dismissal case in
the office of Shin Hyun Apartment case due to marriage mediated by Inchon
Employment Problem Mediation Committee on July 12, 1991) have been resolved
by accepting the mediation plans of the Employment Problem Mediation
Committee. Another 2 cases were dropped by female workers because of a
labor management addition to this, 4 cases have been resolved by persuading
the employers during the process of investigation by the committee members.

  2. Results Achieved by Judicial Organization

  After the implementation of the Equal Pay Act in 1988, only 4 cases have
been resolved by juridical procedures(civil suits). And out of these 4
cases, only one case with Yonsei University involved a civil suit. Two
cases with Citizens National Bank and Hanyang University were turned down.
Finally, the case of Doosan involved discrimination in wages by gender such
that the wages of a college graduate female worker who worked continuously
for more than 10 years were much less than the starting salary of a college
graduate male worker. Another reason for the Doosan was that the female
worker was not paid a continuous service allowance. However, the Female
worker did not bring a civil suit to obtain equal wages but to nullify her
  The resolution of cases by depending on civil suits is related to the
costs for consulting experts, like attorneys, and time. However, since
there is no financial assistance in Korea for law suits, unlike many other
countries, law suits are utilized in limited way. In addition, it should be
emphasized that many of the accused have dropped their suits in the middle
of the juridical process. The background of the 2 dropped cases mentioned
above is that the suits became controversial issues in the labor union or
the employers showed a willingness to agree implicitly to resolve them.
This fact suggests that leaders or members of the labor union, particularly
the male members, may perceive wage discrimination by gender as a minor
issue. However, the suit itself may have a major impact not only on the
concerned company but also on other companies in the same kind of industry.
For example, the impact of the Citizens National Bank case has been so
great that gender discrimination in wages has been almost eliminated not
only in this bank but also in other banks in Korea, though the suit was
resolved by administrative arrangement.
  3. Results achieved by Autonomous Organization        
  Wage discrimination by gender may occur directly discrimination in the
wage management system and indirectly by discrimination in the personnel
management, such as, in placement or promotion. However, management
information in companies regarding the wage discrimination system is
usually not open to the public. Generally, labor unions may have more
knowledge about wage management problems within a company. Therefore, the
more  complex a company's wage system or personnel management system, the
more effective is an autonomous organization, such as labor union, in
resolving wage discrimination disputes.
  In Korea, it is unknown how many cases are resolved by an employer or by
a Grievance Committee on behalf of female workers who make requests
directly to employers in verbal or written form about cases of wage
discrimination by gender. If cases are resolved, the number is expected to
be very small. Another method to resolve such cases are to appeal the
gender discrimination in verbal or written form to a Grievance Committee or
to appeal directly or indirectly to the collective bargaining procedures in
an establishment which has a labor union. Several cases involving the Bank
of Korea, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Daerim Engineering,
etc. have been reported as successful cases in eliminating wage
discrimination or discriminatory personnel management systems through labor
and management agreement.


  As mentioned earlier, the equal pay for equal work principle is not fully
implemented in Korea. In this section, the following policy issues to
enhance the efficiency of the equal pay principle are discussed : the wage
system, present conditions involving the implementation of the equal pay
principle, and the implementing bodies. The best way to eliminate problems
of discrimination against wages by gender is to resolve them through
autonomous labor relations. However, in the Korean situation, the
government should play a pioneering role and at the same time, companies,
individual worker, labor unions, women's organizations, etc. should also
actively participate in the resolution of such cases.

  1. Realistic Methods to Compare Equal Value Work

A. Realistic Methods to Compare Equal Value Work
  Altogether 90.1 percent of companies adopt seniority-based wage system in
Korea. However, as Korean society has been shifting from a low wage, low
technique, and high economic growth society to high wages, high techniques,
and low economic growth society, the wage system in companies are also
shifting, or will shift, from a seniority-based wage system to ability
based and/or job duty based wage system. Following these changes, if the
wage systems of many companies shifts from the seniority based wage system
to job-duty or ability based wage system, the job duty or ability as a
reference criteria for the evaluation of equal value work will be adopted.
This shift in the wage systems of companies in Korea will occur eventually,
even if it has not occurred at the present time. However, in the near
future, wage systems in Korea are expected to shift, not to the job duty
based wage system, but to the ability based wage system with some
characteristics of a seniority based wage system. Since the basic principle
of the ability based wage system is equal pay for equal ability, it is
contradictory to principle of the result, the principle of equal pay for
equal work may come to lack reality.
  Therefore, to develop realistic criteria for the evaluation of the equal
pay for equal work principle, the criteria for determining wages in a
company should be used as criteria for determining the equal pay for equal
work, that is, equal pay for equal seniority and for equal ability. And the
legal criteria for the principle should be "skills, efforts,
responsibilities, and working conditions, etc." as stipulated by the
Ministry of Labor. Of course, in companies where a job duty based wage
system is adopted or will be adopted in the future or where they could not
find comparable male groups due to severe job segregation, the value of
work should be compared based on job analysis and job evaluation. During
the evaluation process, gender prejudice should not be excluded.
B. The Comparative Scopes of Labor
  Considering that there are great wage disparities by kinds of companies,
by industries, and by sizes of companies, the expanded application of the
comparative scopes may cause great confusion. And even though the wage
bargaining system is shifted from company-level to industrial-level system,
the wage disparities by firm and company may not cause major problems
because not the level of wages themselves but the increasing rate or
increasing amount of wages is determined in wage bargaining. However, since
application of the equal pay for equal work principle is related to the
level of wages itself, the wage disparities by company and by size of
company may became great constraints.
  Therefore, based on this present situation, it is more realistic to
confine the range of comparison within an establishment rather than to
expand it to the kind of industry. However, where collective bargaining is
possible in a region or within the same kind of industry, it is better to
have exceptions in regulations for the comparative ranges which can be
expanded to the same kind of industry.

C. Making an Environment for Job Analysis and Job Evaluation
  In implementing the equal pay for equal work principle, there may be some
cases that work done by male and female workers are comparable only by the
evaluation of job duties. In this case, an environment for conduction job
analysis and job evaluation should be established. That is, employees,
employers, and the government should provide standard job analysis and job
evaluation models for industries where female dominated jobs(i.e., nurses,
cashiers, telephone or telegram operators, etc.) prevail. The models should
be used in jobs where there are many establishments in which to apply the
  Though standard job analysis and job evaluation models are provided, no
individual company may apply the model if no compulsory laws exist
requiring the job evaluation only for some specific companies in the
professional worker's association such as the Nurses Association, laborer's
associations such as industrial association of labor unions or Federation
of Korea Trade Unions, and employers association. The impact of job
evaluation may be great, though such evaluations may not be easily
applicable to individual companies.
  Members of the labor union should participate in a company's job
evaluation process. However, the members of the job evaluation committee
generally consist of males only. For this reason, the possibility of a
relatively low evaluation of women's work can be found in this process.
Therefore, in companies which want to conduct job evaluations to introduce
both the equal pay for equal work principle and the job duty based wage
system, a predetermined number of women as representatives of the female
workers should participate in the job evaluation committee. Also, it is
necessary to support the female representatives by consulting job
evaluation expert who are involved in labor organizations or women's

  2. Fairness and Objectiveness in Wages and Personnel Management

A. Inducement to Open and Objective Wage System

  In the practical application of the equal pay for equal work principle,
it is difficult to find wage discrimination by gender if the wage
management system of a company is not objective and open to workers. A
great number of companies in Korea have wage tables which mention only
starting salary. Some companies do not have any wage table at all. Some
company do not open the wage table to workers. Even if wage related
information is given to the labor union in a company, the information is
usually confined to the employees's wages only. For this reason, the
information about the wage management system for general workers or labor
union members is generally limited in nature. Therefore, the government and
worker's association should induce the company to maintain a wage table if
the company does not have one or if the company has one for only starting
salaries. If a company has a wage table but does not open the table to
workers, the government and worker's association should induce the company
to open the wage table and the wage management system to workers.

B. Elimination of Discriminatory Wage Systems
  As can be seen from the case studies mentioned earlier, a great number of
companies, have adopted a seniority based wage system and have applied
different starting salaries and grades for male and female workers even if
they have equal seniority. In addition to this, there is a tendency to
widen the wage disparities between male and female workers when their years
of continuous service increase.
  For this reason, in companies where a seniority based wage system is
adopted but the starting salaries between male and female workers of equal
seniority are different without any rational reason, the government's
guidance, inspection, and supervision should be strengthened to eliminate
such wage discrimination by gender. For those companies which have some
forms of discriminatory wage systems by gender, the wage table in the
companies should be amended to eliminate the discrimination in wages. To do
this, guidance and inspection by government and social organizations should
be strengthened. For production workers, greatly different job duties are
conducted by gender and the majority of female workers receive lower wages
than their male counterparts. However, these low wages are not based on any
scientific and objective reasons. Therefore, to provide objective criteria
for the elimination of wage disparities by gender, job analysis and job
evaluation should be conducted by all participants in the labor,
management, and government sides.

  3. Strengthening and Enhancing the Efficiency of Implementing

A. Autonomous Provision of Improvement Plans
  In implementing the equal pay principle, it is most desirable to
implement the principle autonomously by a labor/management agreement within
a company. In Korea, the methods utilized to eliminate wage disparities by
gender are:1) eliminating the discrimination by employers themselves; 2)
reliance on the Complaint Settlement Service ; 3) reliance on the Grievance
Committee; or 4) labor/management bargaining. However, these methods,
except for labor/management bargaining, depend on the willingness of
employers to eliminate the discrimination, meaning that the methods may be
less effective. The proportion of organized female labor unions is low,
both in absolute terms and in relative terms. As a result, to make wage
discrimination by gender a subject in a meeting is difficult because the
organizational strength of the female labor union is weak. And even in a
labor union where the participation rate of female union members is high or
where the majority adopt the wage disparities by gender as a subject in the
collective bargaining.
  Therefore, to enhance ist efficiency, female workers should actively
participate in their labor unions. In addition, the labor unions should
have a better understanding of the problems of wage disparities by gender.
Furthermore, the labor unions or women's organization should actively
educate female union members or female workers about the nature of
discrimination in employment by gender. And the worker should actively
participate in the educational program.

B. Strengthening the Role of the Employment Problems Mediation Committee
  The labor inspector in Korea should periodically inspect companies in
regard to 116 items in the labor-related laws including the 5 items in the
Equal Employment Opportunity Act. But to inspect closely wage
discrimination by gender in companies is difficult due to lack of time and
manpower. Also, the inspectors may not have professional knowledge to
distinguish the presence of gender discrimination in the wage and personnel
management systems in companies, particularly where job duty based wage
systems or ability based wages systems are adopted.
  In relation to this, though the Employment Problem Mediation Committee
can be considered a specialized organization, its ability to resolve
discrimination in wages by gender in companies is limited in nature. While
great numbers of such organizations in other countries have the authority  
to investigate, the Employment Problem Mediation Committee has practically
no investigational power. Therefore, to enhance the effectiveness of the
committee, it should have this power even if there is no request for
investigation. If there is clear gender discrimination in a company, the
committee should have authority to resolve the problem in order to
eliminate the discrimination. Like the Equal Employment Opportunity
Committee in the United States of America, when the mediation plan is not
accepted by a company in which there is clear discrimination, the committee
should have the power to bring the case directly to the court. And like the
committees in U.K. and Canada, the Korean committee should have the power
to order the prohibition of discrimination. Therefore, this kind of
authority to investigate should be given to the Employment Problem
Mediation Committee. Considering th difficulties individual female workers
have in filing a lawsuit, it is very important to give the power to
investigate to the committee, particularly in the current situation of
present labor management relations in Korea.

C. Disclosure of Information and Enlargement of the Dispute Request
  The policy of putting the burden of proof of no discrimination on an
employer is adopted in many countries, including Korea. However, the
problem of recognizing discrimination prior to a request for investigation
is still not resolved. Therefore, as in other countries, the duty of
providing information should be the responsibility of an employer. In
Korea, to enhance the effectiveness of the equal pay principle and to
ascertain wage management information should be provided periodically to
the labor union or labor/management committee. Also, when a dispute
concerning wage discrimination occurs, individual workers, labor unions, or
professional associations should be qualified to request the administrative
and judicial services. In particular, the enlargement of qualifications for
requests to investigate is important for resolving equal value work

  4. Elimination of Indirect Discrimination and Strengthening of the Policy
Against Low Wages
  Wage mediation based on the equal value work concept can reduce wage
disparities by gender in a company. If the majority of wage disparities are
caused by the fact that workers in male dominated companies are paid more
than those in female dominated companies, then the effect of mediation may
not be great. Therefore, with the implementation of the equal pay
principle, it is important to eliminate wage disparities by gender:1)
through the rational implementation of minimum level wages; 2) through the
principle of more rewards for class workers than those higher class workers
to eliminate wage disparities which are caused by different educational
attainments and starting ranks; 3)through the elimination of the gender
segregation in the job market; and 4) through the recruitment and placement
in companies by placing more females in male dominated jobs.

  5. Minimizing Side Effects Caused by the Implementation of the Equal Pay

  In Korea, if a company adopts the equal pay for equal work principle, the
company may experience relatively more labor costs for female workers than
for male workers because it should also pay for the maternal expenses of
female workers. As a result, rigorous implementation of the principle may
cause undesirable side effects such as a reduction in the employment of
female workers or the strengthening of other discrimination in employment
by gender in Korea. Therefore, the government should seek to minimize the
side effects of the equal pay for equal work principle by subsidizing of
the maternal costs.

  6. Perceptions and Attitudes toward Elimination of Discrimination

  To eliminate gender discrimination against employment and wages requires
changes in society's customs and perceptions as well as the existing laws
and regulations. Therefore, gender discrimination should be eliminated by
teaching in the home and school the quality of human beings. The employers'
personnel policy, which traditionally has discriminated against female
workers, should also be changed. Furthermore, efforts of female workers
themselves to eliminate the gender discrimination are required. Related to
this, the labor union should also make major efforts to position female
workers as representatives in male dominated labor union activities.


(Works in Korean)
Kim, Elim(1991), Explanation on Equal employment Opportunity Act, Ministry
of Labor.
Korean Labor-Relations Development Institute(1992), Development of Standard
Job Evaluation Model for Implementation of Equal Pay for Equal Work.
Korea Women's Association for Democracy and Sisterhood(1991), Women with
Clerical Jobs and Wages.
Korean Women's Development Institute(1989), Paper presented at the
Symposium for the Settlement of Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
Lee, Eun-Young(1989), "Equal Pay and Working Conditions for Men and Women,"
Women's Studies, Winter, Korean Women's Development Institute.
Ministry of Labor(1992), Guidelines for Implementation of Equal Employment
Opportunity Act.
Park, Choon-seong(1991), Case Studies on Improvement of Wage structures in
Korean Companies, Korea Productivity Center.

(Works in English)
Eyraud,F. et al.(1992), Equal Pay Protection in Industrialized Market
Economics:In Search of Greater Effectiveness, International Labor

Posted by KWWA
The Unstable Transition of Female Employment and Related Policy Tasks KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 14:59:43, 조회 : 399

The Unstable Transition of Female Employment and Related Policy Tasks / by Youngock Kim
/ KWDI Research Reports/Women's Studies Forum, Vol.12 /December 1996  

**This paper  is a   summanization of the   1995 Research Report   200-8,
Employment Security of Wo men Workers by Kim, Young-ock, KWDI.

Kim Young-ock
Senior Researcher, KWDI


An unstable trend in female employment  structure has appeared since the
late 19 80s. This instability  is due to contingent  types of employment,
such as fi.ed-t  erm, part-time,  and leased  work, which  involve female
workers. The trend was ca  used by the labor  fle.ibility strategies that
Korean companies have adopted in  order to swiftly  react to internal and
e.ternal changes  in the   economic environ ment.   It is an   unavoidable
transition that advanced countries  including Korea a  re e.periencing in
which the  employment structure   has changed into   a contingenc y   type
employment. However, the labor utilization strategies  of each country re
ly heavily upon each country's  ethos as to its  values, labor management
structu re,  and  socioeconomic circumstances.   Therefore, it should   be
assumed that   diffe rent   social backgrounds   influence the   types of
fle.ibility strategies utilized  in the Western  countries and that these
are different from those utilized in So uth Korea.
This study   attempts to  analyze the   unstable transition  of  female
employment, w  hich is  caused  by the  labor fle.ibility  logic,  and to
suggest methods to stabil ize female employment. The results of the study
are e.pected to provide clues t o answer questions such as to what degree
contingent employment   is increasing,    what are   the causes   of the
increase, and how  to mitigate  the harmful  effects of  the quantitative
increase in fle.ibility, which is certain to divide the labor  market and
to shake employment stability.


This study  will specifically  e.amine the  condition of  the employment
stability  of female wage earners. Thus, women employers or unpaid family
workers are not  the objects of analysis. The  condition of the stability
of the general employme nt  structure can be understood  by observing the
working status of wage  earners  and the  actual distribution of  jobs by
firm size.

1.The Transition in Working Status

As illustrated in [Table 1], the labor  force structure by gender during
the 198 0s and 1990s  indicates that the proportion  of females among the
economically ac tive population in  the non-agricultural sector increased
from 34% in 1981  to 39 % in  1989. It has remained  constant since then.
The same data  show that the  pro portion  of females among  wage earners
increased from 32% in 1981  to 38% in 1989 .  And the proportion remained
at the same level from 1989 to 1992.
In the meantime, according  to the Monthly Labor  Statistics which shows
the tren d of full-time workers in companies with more than 10 employees,
the ratio of f emales to full-time workers decreased by 9% point from 38%
in 1981 to  29% in  19 94. Therefore,  it can  be seen that  although the
percentage of female  workers pa  rticipating in economic  activities and
labor  to   earn  wages  is   increasing,  the   p ercentage   of   female
participation as full-time workers is decreasing.

Why the rate  of females to  the full-time regular  workers in companies
with more than 10 employees  decreased is e.plained by  the change in the
hiring practices  of companies. In  the past, firms had  hired females as
full-time workers. Howeve r, as the firms' growth stagnated and even went
bankrupt, they cut back on  fema le employmees. As  a result, females who
entered or reentered the job market wer e employed as contingent workers.
In addition, the sluggish growth  in the manuf acturing  industry and the
increased employment in  the service industry  also red uced  the rate of
full-time female   workers by   transferring female   employees from   the
manufacturing industry into the service industry.
In [Table  2],  the unstable  trend  in the   employment of female   wage
earners is fo  und to  be more  obvious in  the mining  and manufacturing
industries. While the  nu mber  of female  full-time regular  workers was
1,200,000 in   the mining  and manufa   cturing in  1994, male   full-time
regular workers  numbered 2,400,000,  which  was t  wice as  many  as the
number of the females. However, the number of  male part-tim e workers in
this industry was 50,000, which is only  of the 330,000 f emale
part-time workers in the same industry. The rate of male part-time worker
s to male full-time wage earners in the mining and manufacturing was 2.1%
in 19 94, and the rate of female part-time  workers was 21.4% in the same
year. Thus,  a conspicuous contrast is seen.

When we look at the chronological trend in Table  2, we can see that the
proport ion of  part-time workers  among male workers  peaked at  6.0% in
1986, but  has rem  ained 3%  on the  average for  the 10   years. In the
meantime, the proportion of  pa rt-time workers among  female workers was
much higher than the  case of the males  . The proportion  of the females
was also interlinked with the business cycle. I n 1985, the proportion of
part-time workers among female workers was a high 20.
2% but a low  17.7% in 1988.  This decrease reflected  the economic boom
during 19 86- 1988. However, the proportion soared up to 26.1% in 1989, a
remarkable incr ease  of 8.4%  in only  one year.  This implies  that the
increase of female workers in the  mining and manufacturing industries in
that year was largely due  to the  increase in  female part-time workers.
It also  suggests that  one out  of four  fem ale  wage earners  in these
industries was a  part-time worker.  Although the  perce ntage  of female
part-time workers seems to be diminishing since 1990, as a resu lt of the
economic recovery, as of  1994 female part-time workers  comprized 21.4 %
of the total female wage earners in these  industries. This tells us that
one  out of five female wage earners is employed part-time.

2.The Transition by Firm Size

The size  of a   company can be  used  as another  indicator  to measure
employment  st  ability.   Throughout the   1970s  and  1980s,  when   the
industrial structure  had  grea tly   improved, the vertical   integration
between small  and medium-sized  (S&M) and  large firms  was accelerated.
Many S&M  firms became  subcontractors for  large fir  ms. The  trend had
escalated e.tensively. S&M firms often e.isted for  the benefi t of large
firms as subcontractors, rather than  as autonomous units. As  a resul t,
the managerial conditions were very  unstable for S&M firms.  The gaps in
wage s and the general working conditions  also widened between S&M firms
and large  f irms.  Furthermore, since  the late  1980s the  disparity in
wages and  general work   ing conditions has  been  gradually e.acerbated
between S&M and large firms. Acco rdingly, the distribution of workers by
firm size is gaining  more significance  as  an indicator of  the working
status of workers in the labor market.
Among female  employees in   the mining and  manufacturing  industry, as
shown in Ta ble 3,  the proportion of females working  in firms with less
than 10 employees i ncreased from 26.0% in 1983  to 34.4% in 1992. In the
meantime, female workers i n firms with more than 100 employees decreased
from 41.8% to  28.0% during the  s ame  time period. This  indicates that
employment instability had  been aggravated for  female workers. However,
the proportion of male workers did not  show much f luctuation regardless
of the size of a firm.

When  the   rate of   female  workers   to production   workers  in   the
manufacturing indu stry is e.amined, the  decreasing rate is more obvious
in large companies.  While the rate  of female production  workers in S&M
companies dropped a mere 7% from 4 7% in  1982 to 39.1% in 1994, the rate
in large  companies plummeted  by as  much a  s 20%  from 53.2%  to 33.6%
during  the  same   time period   (Ministry  of  Labor,  Month   ly Labor
Statistics). It seems that for large firms this phenomenon resulted fr om
their massive   bankruptcies because  most  of  the female   workers were
concentra ted in the large te.tile and shoe firms which went bankrupt. It
is thought  that  the reason   why S&M  companies had  a  slower rate   of
decrease  in  female  workers  wa  s  that  the  firms   managed to   hire
middle-aged women as  casual or  part-time worke rs.  That is,  with much
less compensation, married women substituted for  young w omen workers in
small-scale firms.


While analyzing the macro-statistical  data in the  previous chapter, we
e.amined the general  transition of unstable  female employment. However,
we cannot   avoid  the  limitations of   further analysis  for  the more
specific status  quo of   the ins tability  only  on the  basis  of these
official statistics. Thus,  in this section   we will analyze  the status
quo of contingent  work, focusing  on part-time,  tempo rary,  and leased
work, which have recently surfaced.
Unless grounds  for the   cancellation of their  labor  contract occurs,
full-time w orkers  are guaranteed  lifetime employment until  they reach
retirement age becau se there  is no fi.ed duration  of employment in the
contract. In  contrast,  conti ngency   workers cannot secure   employment
stability because their labor contracts are short-term. This kind of work
features short  and irregular  working hours.  I n  this section  we will
define "contingent  work"(U. S.   Department of Labor   (1988),  Fle.ible
Workstyle- A Look at Contingent Labor, R. M.  Blank (1990), p.1 43.) as a
comprehensive concept which includes part-time, fi.ed-term, contracted, a
nd leased work.

1.Part-time Work

According to the Western  criterion, a part-time worker  works less than
35 hours  per week  in  general. However,  a legally  defined  concept of
part-time worker in   Korea does not The  Ministry of Labor  only
defines it for the purpose of  administrative  convenience as follows- on
the basis of a four-week average of f i.ed working days per week or fi.ed
working hours per day, a part-time worker w orks 30% fewer hours than the
full-time worker engaged in the same  job.(Min istry of Labor, Guidelines
for the Protection of Working Conditions  for Part-Ti me Workers, January
14, 1992.)

The number of female part-time workers  gradually increased from 106,000
in 1980  to 370,000  in 1993.  Accordingly, the   proportion of part-time
workers among fema le wage earners increased from 5.2% in 1980 to 8.4% in
1993. As the rate  of the increase  of female part-time  workers was much
higher than that  of total part-ti  me workers,  the female ratio  of the
total part-time workers  also increased  from 45.9% in  1980 to  64.9% in

Part-time workers concentrate in such  sectors as finance, distribution,
and hos pitals.  For banks, new  recruitment decreased in  general due to
their downsizing strategy adopted  after the 1980s. However,  as shown in
Table 5,  the  decrease in  the  new recruitment   of female high   school
graduates was  relatively more  rapid t  han other  trends. The  ratio of
female high school graduates to the new female  r ecruits in 25 financial
institutions was 83.5%  in 1991 but  dropped to  67.4% as  of  September,
1995. Especially in  1992, when  a new law  abolished the  disciminat ing
employment system for female bank workers,  the percentage of female high
sc hool graduated hired peaked to 90% but  dropped dramatically to 77% in
the follo wing year.
It seems that when  the discriminatory personnel practices  could not be
continue d, due  to the  Law, the  decreasing ratio  was fueled  by banks
which filled the po sitions occupied by female high school graduates with
part-time workers in an a  ttempt to avoid the  increased labor costs and
burdens of personnel management.
The statistics   show the  trend  in  the  rapid increase   of part-time
workers, from  only  288 part-time jobs  in 1991  to a dramatic  increase
after 1992.
Thus, the total  number of part-time  workers was 4,366  as of September
1995. Aft er e.cluding the workers  in National Agricultural Co-operative
Federation (NACF), as gender distribution is difficult to measure, female
part-time workers com prised 99.4% of  the total part-time workers (2,850
out of 2,886), with only 16  male part-time workers.

As of September 1995,  17,343 female full-time workers  were employed in
si. bank s.  In these  banks there were  1,871 female  part-time workers.
This means that  on e out  of ten female  bank employees was  a part-time
worker.(Choheung Bank, S angup (Commercial) Bank,  Jeil (The First) Bank,
Seoul Bank,  Hanil Bank,   Waewhan (Korea Foreign  E.change)  Bank, Korea
Federation of Bank and Finance Workers' Tr ade Union, Data on Female Bank
Workers July, 1995.)
  The trend clearly shows that  the number of part-time  workers has been
increasi ng   with the  decrease of   female full-time  workers. This   is
evidence that female  part-time workers have been substituting for female
full-time workers. Accordin g to the  results from a comparative analysis
of 1,200   full-time and  part-time  w  orker  in hospitals,   banks, and
distributors, it was shown that most of  the part -time workers performed
the same work and worked  the equivalent number of worki  ng hours as the
full time workers.(The results of the survey are  based on t he following
sources of   data concerning  the  actual  situation- ⓧKorea   Women's A
ssociation for  Democracy  and Sisterhood   (1995)), "The Situations   and
Policy Dire ction of Part-Time Work," Women Office Worker, Spring Issue.
ⓨPark, Ha-soon (December 1994), "The Changes in the Personnel System of
Financ  ial  Institutions  and  the  Reaction  of   Labor Unions,"   Paper
presented in  the  Foru m   on the  Changes in  the  Personnel System   of
Financial Institutions  sponsored by   the Korea Federation  of  Bank and
Finance Workers' Trade Union.
ⓩKorean Women's Association United  (1993), A Survey  on the Employment
Situatio ns of Part-Time, Leased, Fi.ed-Term Work.
①Kim, Tae-hong (1994),  Current Employment Situations  of Part-Time and
Fi.ed-Te rm Work and Policy Tasks, Korean Women's Development Institute.
  Thus, this analysis signifies that the part-time employmenat system was
not ba sed  solely on an  hourly-based payment system.  Rather, part-time
workers under  t he   system possessed the  characteristics  of full-time
workers because the latter had the same working  hours as the former, but
part-time workers  signed repeatin  g labor  contracts of   less than one
However, the wage level of the part-time worker was only 60% that of the
full-t ime workers. Taegu Bank, for e.ample, pays part-time workers 66.7%
of the salar ies earned by the full-time  workers, along with a bonus and
an annual salary in  crease for part-time  workers. Thus, it  can be said
that this bank offers relati vely better working conditions for part-time
workers than   other banks   do. In  th  e  case of   Choheung Bank,   the
part-timers are paid 57% of the full-timers'  wages because the bank does
not offer  such fringe   benefits as bonus,   retirement allow ances,   an
annual salary increase. Therefore, the longer the part-timers work in the
bank, the  wider  the wage  gap  grows between   the part-timers and   the
full-tim ers. Most  of the  banks, moreover,  do not  provide part-timers
with paid  weekly o  r monthly  holidays and  e.clude these  workers from
medical insurance coverage.
Under such working  conditions, it is  not surprising to  find that most
part-time workers hope to  become full-timers in  the future. Involuntary
part-time work  is a   form of underemployment.  Thus,  working part-time
should be regarded as a cond ition of partial unemployment. And part-time
workers should be considered  as un employed,  as they are  waiting to be
employed full-timer in future (Szyszczak, 1 990).
Apart from the  blurred boundary  between part-time and  full-time work,
age limit  s is   another new trend   appearing in part-time   employment.
Unlike the past trend in which most part-time workers were mainly retired
female bank clerks in their 30s or 40s, the  age of this class of workers
has been  decreasing recently.  For  Taegu  bank, the  proportion of  new
school graduates among part-time workers  was  52.5% in 1994.  The number
of new  entrants  in the   labor market  as part-time  e.ce  eds that   of
Judging from the trend  described above, we  know that it  can be highly
possible  for   the activation  of part-time   employment to  deepen the
e.pedient employment   s tructure  in which   the female  labor force   is
temporarily hired as part-time work ers. This  type of employment and the
e.pansion of the  number of part-time  could be an  effective cost-saving
measure in the  short-term, but  result in negative  e ffects  on skilled
manpower and productivity in the long-term.
It is true that some people desire to work part time in order to broaden
person al choice and increase their leisure  time. Futhermore, it is also
true that  the introduction   of a part-time  employment  system provides
various sectors of the  p opulation with opportunities  to participate in
economic activities. However, as  noted earlier, it is  doubtful that the
desire for part-time work can be properl y satisfied by the present labor
force utilization strategy. This is because  po or working conditions and
low employment stability for part-time work.  Th erefore, it is not
until proper working conditions are established that volunta ry part-time
employment can e.pand.
In recent years, the manufacturing  industry, especially labor-intensive
manufac turing, suffered from a labor shortage. This is a good e.ample of
the mismatch  between labor demand and supply. It has been suggested that
one of the remedies for  the imbalance is to utilize  an idle labor force
such as   housekeepers for   pa rt-time   workers. However,   this remedy
proposed does   not seem  to be   effective. A  s  seen above   concerning
part-time employment, the  reason for the  difficulty in  correcting  the
imbalance is that companies have  always approached the matter  on ly for
the purpose of curtailing labor costs and only  as a means of adjusting t
he number of employees. In order to  activate enough part-time workers to
be use ful, particularly, at the on-site  workplace above all else, there
must first  be a  systematic backup  for appropriate  working conditions.
Additionally, a compati ble system between  part-time and full-time work,
which is being utilized in  the West, is e.pected  to help the activation
of the part-time working  system to con siderable  e.tent. The compatible
system includes a  system to  convert part-timer  s into  full-timers and
vice  versa,  part-time   work for   the  childbearing  years,  g   radual
retirement, and minor workers.

2. Fixed-term Work

In  general,   fi.ed-term  employment  means   all  types  of   irregular
employment. Unde   r this  employment  system,  a  worker enters   into a
fi.ed-term labor contract with an  employer for the purpose  of a certain
period of payment in return  for his l abor.  Since fi.ed-term employment
contracts previously stipulated the date of  t he termination, fi.ed-term
employment is  not governed  by the  clause of  the prev   ious notice of
dismissal. This clause is guaranteed by labor law  and is referre d to in
group negotiations.
However,  according   to  the   data  from   the  government's   National
Statistical Offic  e, this   type of employment  is  currently classified
under the category of regula r employment.  Thus, the Ministry of Labor's
data are the only source available  to estimate  the number of fi.ed-term
and irregular workers. But, even in the da ta of the Ministry of Labor, a
fi.ed-term worker is narrowly defined  as "a work er  employed by a labor
contract of   less than  one  month." In   reality, it  is  comm on   that
fi.ed-term workers have contracts of  less than three, si.,  or twelve mo
nths, not only one month.  Therefore, we should be  aware that the number
of fi.e  d-term and   irregular employees estimated   in the Ministry   of
Labor's data may ha ve  been greatly underestimated. While  the number of
female regular employees in creased by 37.0% from  1,040 in 1981 to 1,425
in 1993, that of male regular empl oyees increased drastically by 105.5%.
Among wage earners,  female workers  incre ased by  125.5% from  2,082 to
4,695. Meanwhile, male workers increased  by 68.1%  during the  same time
period. Thus, it can  be confirmed that though  the rate of   increase in
female wage earners was much higher than that for male wage earners , the
rate of increase in female regular employees was relatively low and fi.ed
-term liregular employment was distributed mainly among female workers.

The previous studies(Korean Women's Association United  (1993).)  on the
actual situations of fi.ed-term  workers show low wages  and unstable emp
loyment as the main characteristics of  their jobs. First, when e.amining
the wa ges,  one can see  that fi.ed-term  workers were paid  lower wages
than  regular  wor   kers. However,   little  difference  e.ists   between
fi.ed-term and  full-time  worker s  in  the length   of service and   the
contents of work. Even when it  is assumed th at both  were paid the same
nominal wages, a wide  gap still remained terms  of th e  real wage level
because there   were such   large disparities   in bonuses,   retirem ent
allowances, social insurance costs, and welfare costs.
Second, when   e.amining the  employment  stability,  one can   see that
fi.ed-term wo rkers  faced the threat  of dismissal and  the necessity to
repeatedly  negotiate  s  hort-term  labor  contracts.  This   is because
fi.ed-term or irregular employment w as a major  tool for firms to adjust
their labor force in  case of business  fluct uations and  changes in the
economic environment.   Thus, firms  took  advantage  of   this type   of
contingent worker   in order  to secure   control over  the dismissal   of
employees. According   to a   study which   e.amined the   utilization of
contingent wo rk  force employment  in 600 S&M  firms, the  reasons firms
employ contingent worke  rs included  the following  in this  order- easy
recruitment and adjustment of the labor force, the advantage of obtaining
technical e.pertise and low wages. Amon g the reasons, the most important
was that firms wanted to  employ contingent wo rkers  to adjust the labor
force on a quantitative basis(Jung, In-su, 1995).
Although  it  is  unavoidable  because  of  its   nature for   fi.ed-term
employment to s uffer from unstable  employment, some protective measures
are urgently needed to  help full-timer fi.ed-term workers.  They are the
very class  of labor  which  shou ld  be converted  into  regular workers
because they  enter into   consecutive labor  contracts.   In fact, many
business practices have shown  that a fi.ed-term employ  ment contract of
less than si. or twelve months  is not terminated after the  ter m of the
contract has e.pired.  On the  contrary, the  worker enters  into another  
term, so   the contract   virtually becomes   equivalent to   a long-term
contract. How  ever, fi.ed-term  workers are  subject to  a contradictory
working status  as  so-ca lled,   fi.ed-term laborers,  while in   reality
providing the same long term servic e as regular workers.

3. Leased Work

Leased work   features a   trilateral contractual   relationships-  the
laborer, the  lease  firm which employs  the laborers,  and the firm  for
which leased laborers a re  used. Since leased work  is illegal under the
e.isting law with the e.ception  of a few cases  such as security guards,
janitors, etc., it  is harder to  investi gate the  precise situations of
leased workers than any other type of contingent employment. According to
the National Statistical  Office's Report  on establishm ent  census, the
number of firms  and employees  engaging in "manpower-leasing  bus iness"
was 398 and 8,814 respectively in 1986. However,  the number jumped to 1,
363 and 27,072 in 1991.  The Ministry of Labor estimated  that as of 1991
2,000 l ease  firms were  supplying about 100,000  leased workers  in the
following areas-  513  cleaning, 218  security guard,  815 building,  322
production-related, and 52  office management lease firms.
However, it is doubtful that such  official statistical data reflect the
e.act s ize of manpower-leasing businesses.  Quoting the estimations made
by the lease f irms themselves, Jung, In-su  and Yoon, Jin-ho (1993) said
that including such s  imple services as security  guard, cleaning, etc.,
400,000 to 500,000 workers we re engaging in leased work.
According to the 1992 research on the situations of five lease firms and
751 le ased  workers, legal  work such as  security guard,  cleaning, and
loading and unlo ading  had been the  main work for  leased workers until
1992. However, leased  job s  are recently being  found in  such ordinary
jobs as   production and  office work    or in  jobs  contracted through
employment  agencies  such   as interpretation,   trans  lation,   typing,
housekeeping service, and nursing. The research also  showed tha t 40% of
the total leased workers  were in office jobs.  The rest were,  in the fo
llowing order, in facility maintenance, casual labor, technical jobs, and
drivi ng. Then, among  the total leased  workers in office  jobs, 75% was
female. In  inv estigating  in  detaile, the  jobs of  the  leased female
office workers, we can see  that they engaged in  general office work and
office assistant work, document re ceiving and ushering, office equipment
manipulation, and accounting. All of  the se jobs used  to be occupied by
low-rank regular workers.(Jung, In-su and Yo on, Jin-ho (1993).)
  In the 1995 survey with 538 leased workers,  it was seen that they were
largely occupied in such jobs as  facility maintenance and repair, office
work and offic e assistant work, security guard, telephone-answering, and
ushering. Also, the  survey asked who had previously  engaged in the same
jobs that leased workers  we re performing and  discovered the phenomenon
that leased workers had been replac  ing regular workers.(Cho Soon-kyung,
"Ten Myths of Leased Work and Its Real  ity," Paper presented in the Open
Hearing, The  General  Preparatory Committee   of Democratic Labor   Union
(GPCDL), October 25, 1995.)

The wage levels of leased workers are not  parallel with that of regular
workers who have similar  qualifications as leased  workers. The research
conducted by Ju ng, In-su and Yoon, Jin-ho  (1993) revealed that male and
female leased workers  were paid 73.5% and 68.8%  of the wages of regular
workers, respectively. In Cho , Soon-kyung's research (1995), the percent
was only 60.3.  According to  the res ults  of Song,  Da-young's research
(1991), the wage level of female leased worke rs was merely about 50%-60%
that of female regular  workers who performed  the sa me  tasks. The wage
gap was also  widened by the  differences in bonuses,  lunch al lowances,
and job allowances rather than by the differences in basic wages.
According to Cho,  Soon-kyung's survey  (1995), 61.7% of  leased workers
had provi ded  their services  in the  same workplace  for more  than one
year; one-third of t hem had worked in the same place for more than three
This finding challenges  the validity  of the  argument that  firms hire
leased wor kers mainly for  contingent tasks in order  to react to market
changes swiftly an  d fle.ibly. Of  the total leased  workers, only 18.2%
responded that they  believe d that  it was  possible for them  to become
regular workers. This  small response   also weakens the  grounds of  the
assertion that newly employed workers can becom e regular workers if they
are provided with job information and educational tra ining.
Since a client user-firm can dismiss  leased workers simply by canceling
its con tract with a lease firm, leased  workers are highly vulnerable to
a seriously un stable  state of employment. In  Cho, Soon-kyoung's survey
(1995), 64.1% of the t  otal leased workers answered  that a leased labor
contract had been suspended  by the one-sided decision  of user-firms. It
is believed  that such  employment unsta  bility of  leased workers  is a
natural consequence   of employment  practices  which take   advantage of
leased works  as  tools to   adjust the  quantity of  the  labor for   ce.
According to the research findings as to  the reasons firms employ leased
wo rkers, firms hired leased  workers for the following  purposes: out of
100%, 46.7 % to reduce wage costs; 22.4% to prepare for temporary changes
in labor demand; 13.3% to facilitate easy labor relations, and convenient
dismissal of  leased wo  rkers;9.7% to  provide technical  knowledge; and
7.9% to  meet other  needs(Jung, I  n-su and  Yoon, Jin-ho,  1993). Song,
Da-young's research (1991) shows that in th e  case of the securities and
insurance industry leased workers were introduced   on a full-scale basis
after 1987, when the  labor movement became  active. This i  s an obvious
e.ample to illustrate  that a leased  work system was  introduced for the
purpose of suppressing worker demands.
Furthermore, as we  have seen earlier,  70% of leased  workers could not
avoid con tracting leased jobs  because there were few  regular jobs left
for them. However , they did  not want to leave as  leased workers and so
most  of   them  worked   invol  untarily.  Therefore,   their  level   of
satisfaction was  naturally very   low (Jung,  In-su   and Yoon, Jin-ho,
1993). Cho, Soon-kyung found that 63.5% of the leased w orkers engaged in
such jobs because  they could not  find regular  jobs. The highe  r their
education, the higher  the ratio was.  Of the total  leased workers 82.2%  
complained about their working conditions. In response to the question as
to wh ether they  wanted to continue working  at the leased  jobs, 75% of
the total answ ered that they hoped to become regular workers(1995).
When we combine the results  of the surveys concerning  the situation of
leased w orkers, we can conclude that the  number of leased jobs e.panded
mainly because  of the firms' need. This development produced unfavorable
side effects  such as   the substitution  of leased  workers for  regular
workers, the unstable employment  of leased workers, the  division of the
labor market, the  abuse of leased  worker s, the  deterioration of their
wage and working conditions, and so on.
To improve  the inferior  working conditions  of leased   workers and to
establish t he stable employment conditions for them, systematic supports
should be  put int  o  place. However,  two viewpoints  are  currently in
bitter conflict over the  legi slation of  a leased labor  law. Those who
advocate it assert that the  enactment  of leased labor  law will protect
the workers, but those who reject it contend t hat the strict prohibition
of leased work is a  better way to shield  workers if  there is  a chance
for the legislation to stimulate the e.pansion of leased work .
The government  announced in  December 1993  that it   would legislate a
labor-relat ed law  entitled "A  Bill Relating to  the Regulation  of the
Manpower-Leasing Busi  ness and   to the Protection  of  Leased Workers."
However, the   approval of   the bil  l  has  been detained   because the
different viewpoints  were in   strong confrontion on   the issue of   the
current legislation. The bill is  again before a regular  ses sion of the
National Assembly.
With the  support  of the   Korea Employer's  Federation, the   advocates
maintain tha t a leased  labor law should be  legislated. They claim that
leased  work   has been   created  by   the autogenous   needs  of   labor
market-demand and supply-and  fulfills  the following  economic functions
in the labor market. First,  the use of leased  work  provides firms easy
access to a certain labor force which is demanded in t echnical fields or
for firms  to perform  technical functions.  Additionally, when  a sudden
surge in the demand for labor occurs, leased work helps firms to use t he
manpower fle.ibly. Thus,  the cost of  labor can be  reduced. Second, the
publi c job networks of the Korean labor  market are not efficient enough
to connect f  irms and laborers  in the  current market situations.  So a
leased work system can enlarge  the demand and supply  of the labor force
and consequently  curtail  the t   ransitional costs  by connecting   both
parties through private lease firms. Third , it is not easy for unskilled
laborers to enter the labor market. For them, th e leased work system can
offer an  opportunity for  on-the-spot training.  Fourth, as  a secondary
labor market,   leased work   provides an   idle labor   force with   oppo
rtunities  to   find  jobs.   Thus,  it  can   create  opportunities   for
employment.(Nam, Sung-il (1993) and Park, Joon-sung (1993).)

However, it is  doubtful that  these positive roles  of leased  work are
applicable to the  Korean labor  market. Judged from  the results  of the
above surveys, the  r esponses of  workers are mostly  negative. Even the
Western countries' e.perience s  with leased work systems  have not found
that the system can play  positive fun ctional roles  in the labor supply
and demand mechanism.  In fact, since  the user -firms  always manipulate
the system for their own convenience, it has been foun d to play negative
roles such as "hiring and firing" workers, dividing  workers  into a core
and a peripheral group, and disturbing employment stability in the  labor
market.(Lee, Kwang-taek (1993).)

For e.ample, three out of  four Japanese leased workers  are females who
do unski lled jobs  such as office automation  equipment manipulation and
document filing.
Only  30%  of   these female   workers  are  registered  for   employment
insurance. In ad  dition to  this, the  right to work  is not  secured in
Japan because maternity lea ve and childcare  leave are not guaranteed in
principle for female  leased worker s.  Furthermore, employment insurance
is cancelled in Japan upon delivery. In 19  86, when the leased labor law
was enacted, the number of leased workers was  80, 000 in Japan. However,
the number increased four times to 310,000 in 1989. Sinc e 1992, when the
economy entered into recession, leased labor  contracts have se ldom been
renewed and the effective job-offer  rate dropped several times.  All o f
these factors have caused leased  workers to be the first  on the list to
be sa   crificed by  employment  adjustment.(Danaka Humiko   and Kubaouku
(1994), pp .46-47.)

As observed in 1993, when  the leased labor law  was about to legislated
in Korea ,  it was not  desirable to  introduce a system,  especially one
like the Japanese  leased labor  system, without adapting it.  We need to
deeply consider  the lesson  s learned  from the   e.periences of foreign
countries. There are valid severe cri ticisms of the Japanese law because
it leaves   outside its  jurisdiction such   mat ters  as regulating   the
intermediary   commission  which   is   the   major  issue   concern   ing
worker-leases,  securing  the   wages of   workers,  and  regulating   the
cancellati on of lease contracts.(Lee, Kwang-taek (1993).)
  Japanese law pays little attention to the protection of leased workers'
rights . It  is now confirmed  that a legal  step to curb  the e.ploitive
practices, which have prevailed for the past ten years in Japan since the
enactment of the lease d labor law, are  hard to implement on a practical
level. Thus, Japanese are sug gesting that the law be amended.
Since the 1990s there has been a rise in the demand that job information
and em ployment agencies be  left to the free  market mechanism following
the trend of d eregulation. However, because they are believed to possess
the nature   of public   goods, it  is  predicted  that the   free market
mechanism may have a high  probabili ty of failure.  Thus, the government
should first reinforce its functions to  sta bilize the employment. After
that, the free  labor market mechanism  should be cu  ltivated to enhance
its efficiency.
It is recommended  that the government  should not attempt  to hurriedly
legislate  the  lease  law,  which  has  repeatedly   caused controversy.
Instead, the government should concentrate its full efforts on setting up
electronic data networks  conc erning  (un)employment and  available jobs
throughout the nation  on the basis  of  the employment  insurance system
that came into  effect from July  this year.  Such networks will  be more
efficient than lease firms in matching labor supply and d emand.
On the other hand, as the labor advocates that oppose the legislation of
lease  law contend(The major reason  to oppose the legislation  of Leased
Labor L aw is the anticipation that the legislation cannot really protect
leased worker s  but will  only result  in the  mass production  of these
workers.) we need to think about whether or not outlawing leased work can
prevent the fu rther e.pansion of leased laborers.
The number  of leased  workers is  e.pected to  grow in   spite of being
outlawed, un fortunately.  It is,  thus, undesirable to  continue leaving
leased workers withou t legal protection. If  the leased labor law should
be legislated for the protec  tion of the leased  workers themselves, the
following requirements must be satis fied- strengthening the requirements
for lease-firms,   strict regulation   for the   duration of   the lease,
clarifying the whereabouts  of the  user's responsibility  between  lease
firms and   user firms.(For   more specific   data on   the legisl   ation
direction for the Leased Work Law, see Lee, Eun-young (1992), Lee, Kwang-
taek (1993), and Kim, So-young (1995).)
  However, it is not easy  to legally supervise these  clauses of the law
to deter mine whether or not they are actually practiced after the law is
legislated. Ge rmany recently inserted "a  clause concerning using leased
workers" in the Law o f the Labor-Management  Council and made all rights
stipulated  in  the   law equall   y  applicable  to  workers   leased by
user-firms. This will be a  relatively easy wa y  to ascertain whether or
not the working conditions for leased workers is appr opriate and whether
leased work e.pands recklessly.
The findings  of studies   on contingent types   of employment, such   as
part-time, f i.ed-term, and leased work, have been analyzed so far in the
previous chapters.
Their results suggest that the  number of such workers  is increasing in
each typ e  of contingent employment,  and the phenomenon  is penetrating
into various indu  stries. It  is especially  conspicuous in  office jobs
mainly because firms alloca  te contingent workers to  simple office jobs
when office automation is becoming  increasingly  prevalent throughout in
the economy. In addition, the supply side   factor is another contributor
encouraging the increase  in contingent  employment because  the workers'
preference for  office jobs  results  in an  e.cessive supply   of  white
collar labor. Eventually, these e.cessive laborers  cannot find jobs an d
as contingent workers, they suffer from  disadvantages in general working
con ditions including lower wages and unstable employment. Moreover, they
cannot ta   ke advantage  of the   fle.ible working  system  that is   the
original characteristic of  contingent jobs  because they work  mainly as
quasi-full-timers. Consequently,   most of   them remain   as involuntary
contingent workers  who hope  to  become full-t  imers. Thus,  it  is the
e.isting market mechanism for the mobilization of the la bor force cannot
adapt to the innate fle.ibility of contingent employment.


In the   West, the  theory of   "labor fle.ibility"  has been   carefully
developed on  the  basis of a  long history  during which employment  was
guaranteed. The theory   mainly focuses  on how to  balance labor  market
fle.ibility with workers' rights.
Fle.ibility was  demanded  to be  able  to swiftly   react to the   rapid
changes in   th e  world's economic   environment. The  first reason   why
European countries were re luctant to take direct steps to activate labor
fle.ibility was that they were  n ot sure that  as fle.ibility increased,
the rate  of unemployment  would drop.  The second  reason was  that they
feared that  as fle.ibility  increased, negative  aspe cts  would surface
such as  an increasing  rate of  unemployment, the  wage losses   b y the
unemployed, the obstacles in the career path of young workers, diminishin
g motivation to work, and uncertain prospects for regular employment.
To overcome the high rate  of unemployment in Western  societies, it was
suggeste d that complementary measures for  employment be fle.ible. Thus,
quantitative fl e.ibility  policies were implemented,  such as curtailing
and restructuring worki  ng hours,  early retirement, and  increasing the
number of   contingent jobs.   As a   result,  an  appropriate level   of
protection  was  guaranteed  to  promote  the  workin   g conditions   and
employment stability of contingent workers.
It is  informative to  study the  conte.ts out  of which  European labor
fle.ibility policies   evolved because  there  was  a need   to introduce
countermeasures for the  lingering high rate of unemployment. However, in
Korea the demand and supply  fo rces in the labor  market should first be
balanced because the  labor market suff  ers from only  a slight sectoral
shortage in  the labor  force. It  would be  foolis h  to think  of labor
fle.ibility as  a  cut-and-dried way  to  solidify and   to enhan ce   the
national competitiveness, merely because the West's  labor market is emph
asizing such   fle.ibility. Korean  society  has  a weak   foundation for
employment s tability.  Furthermore, measures  to enhance  the employment
stability for  the con   tingent workers are  virtually  none.istent. The
lesson learned from the West's e .periences tells us that it is too early
for Korea to consider labor force fle.
ibility as   the most   urgent task   for the   Korean labor   market to
undertake. It wi  ll be an  appropriate task only  after a fair  level of
protections for contingent workers are in place.
The unstable trend of female employment is becoming more visible and the
prospe ct is e.pected  to become worse.  Therefore, it is  very urgent to
take steps   to e  stablish  a  stable  employment structure   for female
workers. To do so, fundamenta l countermeasures  should first be drawn up
to correct  the current  situation, wh  ere the  quantitative fle.ibility
strategy is impacting female workers at large.
It is  necessary to  search for   ways to set  up plans   to foster core
laborers thro   ugh the   development of   female workers'   competencies.
Second, some adequate  prot ective plans  should be laid  out for workers
who chose   contingent jobs  voluntari  ly  or involuntarily.   Last, the
coverage of   the employment   insurance system,   whi ch   was put   into
effective from July 1995,  should be e.panded  to help to  stabili ze the
employment of contingent workers, and effective  public job training prog
rams and solid work systems should be set up.


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Brodsky,   M.  M.   (1994),  "Labor   Market   Fle.ibility-  A   Changing
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presented in the  Open Hearing  by The  General Preparatory  Committee of
Democratic Labor (GPCD L), October 25, 1995.
Danaka, Humiko and Kubaouku (1994), The  Feminizaion of the Labor Force-
The Twe nty- First Century's Part-Time Work, Ubaigaku Press.
Dercksen, W. (1994), "Job Protection and Fle.ibility In Western Europe,"
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Houseman, S.  N. (1990),  "The Equity  and Efficiency   of Job Security-
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MIT Press.
Jung, In-su   and Yoon,  Jin-ho (1993),   The Current  Situation of   the
Laborer-Lease Business and the Policy Tasks, Korean Labor Institute.
Korean Women's  Association for  Democracy and   Sisterhood (1995), "The
Situations and Policy Direction of Part-Time Work," Women Office Workers,
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Situations of Part-Time, Leased, and Fi.ed-Term Work.
Lee, Kwang-taek (1993), "Discussion on the  Legislation and Amendment of
the Lab or-Related Laws," Environment and Society (Fall Issue).
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Abraham and R. B. Mckersie. Cambr idge- The MIT Press.
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Posted by KWWA
Women's Employment Structure in Korea KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 14:57:41, 조회 : 486

Women's Employment Structure in Korea / by Taehong Kim / KWDI Research Reports/ Women's Studies Forum, Vol.9 / December 1993  

* This paper is the condensation of the 1992 Research Report 200-8 by the KWDI research team Roh Mi-hye, Kim Tae-hong, Kim Young-ock, Yang Seung-joo,  Moon You-kyong.

Kim Tae-hong(Senior Researcher, KWDI)


Due to recent economic developments, the demand side and supply side of the female labor market in Korea have shifted significantly. As a result,  the patterns and problems in the employment structure, particularly the  structure of the female labor force, have also changed. In this study, to  analyze the employment status of women and structure of the female work  force, a sample survey was conducted based on the female population aged 15  years old and over. This was the first nationwide household survey on the  employment structure of women in Korea. In this survey, the attributes of  households and household members were obtained through interviews, and  then, detailed questionnaires were given to the women aged 15 to 64 who  were residing in the household. However, unmarried women who were enrolled  in school were excluded from this survey. There are 80 enumeration  districts, and 40 households in each enumeration district were interviewed.  The number of women interviewed was 3,066. Among them, 1,637 were employed;  108 were unemployed; and 1,321 were economically inactive members of the  population(Note : The participation rate of the female labor force in this  study was 56.9%, which was higher than that reported by the National  Statistical Office (47.3% as of 1991). The difference reflects the  exclusion of the student population (The majority were unmarried and  economically inactive) in this study.).


1. Employment Structure of Women

A. Employment Structure of Women by Industry

Among the 1,633 employed women, 45.4% were engaged in the sector of social overhead capital (SOC) and other services; 31.5% were engaged in the sector  of agriculture, forestry, and fishing; and the remaining 23.1% were engaged  in the sector of mining and manufacturing. In urban areas, 63.2% of  employed women were engaged in the sector of SOC and other services,  whereas in rural areas, 80.2% of employed women were engaged in the sector  of agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

The employment structure of women by marital status reveals that the proportion of women engaged in the third sector (SOC and other services)  was the highest regardless of their marital status. However, the second  largest sector of industry was different by marital status; that is, for  married women, it is high in the proportion of women engaged in  agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector, whereas for never married women,  it is high in the proportion of women engaged in mining and  manufacturing(Note : According to the analysis of the data tape of the 1991  Economically Active Population Survey conducted by the National Statistical  Office(NSO), the proportions of never married women engaged in agriculture,  forestry, fishing, mining and manufacturing; and SOC and other services  were 0.5%, 31.7%, and 67.8% respectively, whereas the related proportions  for married women were 24.7%, 26.0%, and 49.3% respectively.). In detail,  while the largest proportion of married women were found in wholesale and  retail trade (24.1% of all married women), the larger proportion of never  married women were found in the industries of SOC and other services(26.7%  of all never married women), wholesale and retail trade(17.6%), and  finance, insurance, real estate and business services(12.5%). That is, the  employment pattern for never married women was relatively uniform across  all industries excluding agriculture, forestry, and fishing. However, for  married women, 60% of total employed women were concentrated in the first  (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) and third sector(SOC and other  services) of industry.

[Table 1] Women's Employment Structure by Industry
                                                          Unit : Person, %
                     Agric.   Mfg.     ------------------------    Total
                                       Subtotal   W & R   Serv.
Total                 515     377        741       377    246      1,633
                    (31.5)   (23.1)     (45.4)   (23.1)  (15.1)   (100.0)
  Urban                42     342        659       328    220      1,043
                     (4.0)   (32.8)     (63.2)   (31.4)  (21.1)   (100.0)
  Rural               473      35         82        49     26        590
                    (80.2)    (5.9)     (13.9)    (8.3)   (4.4)   (100.0)
Marital Status
  Never married         1      92        162        45     68        255
                     (0.4)   (36.1)     (63.5)   (17.6)  (26.7)   (100.0)
  Married             514     285        579       332    178      1,378
                    (37.3)   (20.7)     (42.0)   (24.1)  (12.9)   (100.0)

Note : Agri. refers to Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
       Mfg. refers to Mining and Manufacturing
       SOC refers to Social Overhead Capital and Other Services
       W & R refers to Wholesale and Retail Trade
       Serv. refers to Social Services

The distribution of employed women by industry reveals that a high proportion of women engaged in the first industry have a primary school  level education; a high proportion of women in the second industry(mining  and manufacturing) have a middle school level education; and that the third  industry has a high proportion of women with a high school level education.  More specifically, fewer than 20% of employed women with middle and high  school level educations were employed in the first sector, while the  proportion of these women engaged in the second and third sector were 35%  and 30% respectively. In contrast to this, a low proportion of women with  college level education were found employed in the first sector. Instead,  77.9% of the college graduates were engaged in the sector of SOC and other  services; particularly, in the industry of personal services and wholesale  and retail trade.

The employment structure of women by industry reveals that the proportion of women employed in urban third sector has been increasing since 1985,  while the proportion of employed women engaged in rural first sector has  been decreasing. However, while the majority of employed women residing in  urban areas were found in the third sector - particularly, in the industry  of wholesale and retail trade - the majority of employed women residing in  rural areas were found in the first sector. Moreover, the proportion of  employed women (the number of employed women divided by total employees)  has increased.

[Table 2] Women's Employment Structure by Industry and Levels of Education

                                                          Unit : Person, %
                     Agric.   Mfg.     ------------------------    Total
                                       Subtotal   W & R   Serv.
Total                 515     377        741       377    246      1,633
                    (31.5)   (23.1)     (45.4)   (23.1)  (15.1)   (100.0)
Level of Education
  Primary School      442      87        198       119     47        726
                    (60.9)   (12.0)     (27.3)   (16.4)   (6.5)   (100.0)
  Middle School        49     114        108        78     21        271
                    (18.1)   (42.1)     (39.8)   (28.8)   (7.8)   (100.0)
  High School          24     156        289       148     80        469
                     (5.1)   (33.3)     (61.6)   (31.6)  (17.1)   (100.0)
  University            0      20        147        32     98        167
                     (0.0)   (12.0)     (82.0)   (19.2)  (58.7)   (100.0)

B. Women's Employment Structure by Occupation

As for the female employment structure by occupation, 31.6% of 1,628 employed women in this study were found to be engaged in the first sector,  19% were in production and retail trade jobs 17.1% were in sales, 14.6%  were in services, 9.9% were in clerical work, and 7.8% had professional  jobs. In urban areas, most of the employed women were found to be engaged  in production and related jobs(26.8%), sales(23.7%), and services(20.7%),  while in rural areas, 80% of the employed women were found to be engaged in  the sector of agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

Among never married women, the proportions of women engaged in clerical and related jobs(52.0%) and professional and related jobs(18.8%) were  relatively high, whereas the proportions of women engaged in agriculture,  forestry, and fishing(37.5%) and sales and services(35.2%) were high among  married women. Comparing these results to those of the first employment  survey which was conducted only for married women in 1985, the proportions  of married women engaged in agriculture and sales jobs have decreased while  those of professional, clerical, and service jobs have increased. This  indicates that the employment structure of women by occupation has improved  slightly since 1985.

The majority of the employed women with less than primary school level education were engaged in the sector of agriculture, forestry, and  fishing(61.3%). While larger proportion of women with middle school level  education were found to be engaged in production and related jobs(40.1%),  the proportion of women with college level education were found more likely  to be engaged in professional and technical related jobs(60.7%). However,  in the case of employed women with high school level education, it was  observed that 27.1% were engaged in clerical and related jobs, 26.0% were  in sales, 22.2% were in production and related jobs and 15.4% were in  service jobs. Therefore, the distribution of employed women by occupation  varied according to level of education.

[Table 3] Distribution of Employed Women by Occupation

                                                           Unit : Person, %
                   P & A    Cler.   Sales.  Serv.   Agri.   Prod.   Total
Total               127     161      278     238     515     309    1,628
                   (7.8)   (9.9)   (17.1)  (14.6)  (31.6)  (19.0)  (100.0)
Marital Status
Never Married       48     133       19      15       1      49      256
                  (18.8)  (52.0)    (7.4)   (5.9)   (0.4)  (15.6)  (100.0)
Married             79      28      259     223     514     269    1,372
                   (5.8)   (2.0)   (18.9)  (16.3)  (37.5)  (19.6)  (100.0)
Level of Education
Primary School       4       1       73     109     441      91      719
                   (0.6)   (0.1)   (10.2)  (15.2)  (61.3)  (12.7)  (100.0)
Middle School        1       2       64      46      50     109      272
                   (0.4)   (0.7)   (23.5)  (16.9)  (18.4)  (40.1)  (100.0)
High Schools        20     127      122      72      24     104      469
                   (4.3)  (27.1)   (26.0)  (15.4)   (5.1)  (22.2)  (100.0)
University         102      31       19      11       0       5      168
                  (60.7)  (18.5)   (11.3)   (6.5)   (0.0)   (3.0)  (100.0)

Note :  P & A : Professional and Administrative
         Cler. : Clerical
         Sales.: Sales
         Serv. : Services
         Agri. : Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
         Prod. : Production

The employment structure of women by age reveals that in the 15∼24 age group, the majority(50.2%) were engaged in clerical and related jobs,  followed by production and related jobs(20.1%), and professional,  technical, and related jobs(13.7%). In the 25∼29 age group, the  proportions of women engaged in production related jobs, professional,  technical, and related jobs, and clerical jobs were about 20%,  respectively. In comparison to this, in the 30∼39 age group, the observed  distributions of women were such that 26.7% were engaged in sales, 26.5%  were in production related jobs, 19.1% were in agriculture, forestry, and  fishing, and 16.7% were in service jobs. For women aged 40 and over,  majority(53.0%) of employed women were found to be engaged in agriculture,  forestry, and fishing followed by services(17.0%), sales (14.0%), and  production related jobs(12.7%).

The above results indicate that the proportion of women engaged in clerical jobs fell both in its absolute number and percentage (the  proportion of employed women engaged in clerical jobs among total employed  women by each age group), particularly, in the 25∼29 age group. This  implies that a majority of them left the labor market because of marriage  and childbirth. Compared to this, the absolute number and proportion of  women engaged in sales, services and agriculture jobs increased in the  30∼39 age group indicating that a great proportion of women had reentered  the job market. However, regardless of age, the proportion of women engaged  in professional, technical, and administrative jobs were remained about the  same, indicating that women in these occupations were more likely to stay  in the job market regardless of their life cycle.

The occupational segregation by sex was serious among employed women. For example, the majority(72.4%) of all female professional and administrative  workers were teachers and nurses; the majority of female clerical and other  office workers were calculating machine operators; the majority of female  sales workers were found to be in wholesale and retail trade jobs ; and the  majority of female service workers were found to be in housekeeping or to  be self-employed at restaurants. Moreover, the occupational segregation was  also serious among women engaged in agriculture and production related  jobs. The majority of the employed women engaged in agriculture, for  example, were found to be in agriculture and livestock farming. Among women  engaged in production related jobs, the majority were employed at apparel,  electricity, and other production related facilities.

As a result, out of 82 divisions of the occupational classification system, about 68% of all employed women were located in the above mentioned  10 divisions. This indicates that the current increases in the proportion  of women engaged in upper level jobs were mainly due to the increase in the  proportion of women holding jobs in fields that were already dominated by  women, such as teaching. Additionally, the occupational distribution of  women according to marital status reveals that among never married women,  the proportion of women holding clerical jobs, such as calculating machine  operators, was high, and among married women, the proportion of women  engaged in agriculture/livestock farming as unpaid family workers,  wholesale and retail trade as self-employed workers, and housekeeping and  other household service jobs was also high.

[Table 4] Distribution of Employed Women by 3-digit Classified Occupation

                                                           Unit : Person, %
             Number of    Major Jobs Within Three-digit Classified
             Employed     Occupation
             Women        (Percentage)
            (Major Group)
P & A       127(100.0)   Teachers(63.0)
Cler.       161(100.0)   Calculating Machine Operator(57.8)
Sales       278(100.0)   Self-employed in Wholesale and Retail Trade(32.4)
                          Sales Workers and Shopkeepers(15.1)
Serv.       238(199.0)   Housekeepers(38.7)
                          Self-employed in Food(17.6)
Agri.       515(100.0)   Farm and Livestock Workers(97.5)
Prod.       309(100.0)   Apparel(32.3)
                          Other Production Related Workers(15.5)
Total     1,628(100.0)   10 Above-mentioned Jobs(68.1)

Note : The percentage for major occupation designates the proportion of women concentrated in specific occupations out of all women whom belong to  the major group of occupations.

C. Women's Employment Structure by Number of Workers in the Establishments

The employment structure by the number of workers in the establishments reveals that 69.0% of all employed women were employed in a small  establishments, where the number of the employees was less than four. 18.8%  of women were employed in establishments with 5∼49 workers, and 8.9% of  employed women were employed in the establishments with 50∼299 employees.  In large establishments where the number of employees were greater than  300, only 3.3% of all employed women were employed. This indicates that the  majority of employed women in Korea were employed in small-scale  establishments with the result that their working status is unstable.

In rural areas, most employed women were engaged in the sector of agriculture. According to the distribution of employed women by the number  of employees in establishments, 56.6% of the urban workers were working in  establishments of fewer than 4 employees, 25.8% in establishments with  5∼49 employees, 12.5% in establishments with 50∼299 employees, and 5.1%  in the establishments with 300 employees or more.

[Table 5] Women's Employment Structure by Working Status and Size of Establishment

                                                           Unit : Person, %
                  1∼4   5∼9  10∼49 50∼99 100∼299 300∼999 1000+  Total
Total            1,121    109    197     82      62     24      29   1,624
                 (69.0)  (6.7) (12.1)  (5.1)   (3.8)   (1.5)  (1.8) (100.0)
Working Status        
Employer/Self     289      3      4      2       9      0       0     307
-employed       (94.1)  (1.0)  (1.3)  (0.7)   (2.9)   (0.0)  (0.0) (100.0)
Unpaid Family      584     14      2      3       0      0       1     604
Workers         (96.7)  (2.3)  (0.3)  (0.5)   (0.0)   (0.0)  (0.2) (100.0)
Regular             66     68    118     59      42     16      19     388
Worker          (17.0) (17.5) (30.5) (15.2)  (10.8)   (4.1)  (4.9) (100.0)
Temporary &        181     24     73     18      20      8       9     333
Daily Workers   (54.4)  (7.2) (21.9)  (5.4)   (6.0)   (2.4)  (2.7) (100.0)

By working status, 94.1% of female employees and self-employed, and 96.7% of the unpaid family workers were working in establishments of 4 or fewer  employees. In the case of temporary and daily workers, 54.4% were also  working in establishments fewer than 4 employees and 29.1% were working in  establishments of 5∼49 employees. In comparison to this, though the  regular employees were distributed evenly across all sizes of  establishments, the majority were working in the establishments where the  number of employees was less than 300.

The employment structure of women by the establishment size reveals that female employers or self-employed women were the likely to be operating  small-scale establishments. Most of the temporary and daily workers were  not protected by the Labor Standard Act(54.4% of the temporary and daily  female workers were employed in the small-scale establishments of fewer  than 4 employees, where the reinforcement of the Labor Standard Act was  exempted). This fact indicates that the legal or institutional efforts to  create better working environments could be limited. Furthermore only 1.8%  of married women were employed in large-scale establishments, where the  number of employees was greater than 300. Thus, the Mother-Child Welfare  Act could only be enforced in a limited way, especially since the  enforcement of the Article concerning to establishment of care facilities  applies only to establishments of 500 and more workers(Note : As of 1991,  only 600 establishments were applicated by the Law.)

D. Women's Employment Structure by Working Status

The women's employment structure by working status shows that 55.3% of all employed women were non-wage workers, while the remaining 44.7% were wage  workers. 1.2% of non_wage workers were employers, 17.1% were self-employed,  and 37.0% were unpaid family workers. Wage workers were classified into two  groups ; regular employees(53.1%) and temporary/daily workers(46.9%).  Though the proportion of temporary/daily workers out of all employed women  was similar with those of other survey results, the proportion of temporary  and daily workers out of all wage workers was found to be relatively high  in this study.

[Table 6] Distribution of Employed Women by Working Status

                                                           Unit : Person, %
                    Employer  Self -    Unpaid  Regular  Temporary  Total
                              Employed  Family  Worker   /Daily
                                        Worker           Worker
Total                 19        280       605     389       343     1,636
                     (1.2)    (17.1)    (37.0)  (23.7)    (21.0)   (100.0)
Marital Status
Never-Married         4          5        12     211        24       256
                     (1.6)     (2.0)     (4.7)  (82.4)     (9.4)   (100.0)
Married              15        275       593     178       319     1,380
                     (1.1)    (19.9)    (43.0)  (12.9)    (23.1)   (100.0)
Age Group
15∼24                1          4        14     170        30       219
                     (0.5)     (1.8)     (6.4)  (77.6)    (13.7)   (100.0)
25∼29                2         20        41      71        38       172
                     (1.2)    (11.6)    (23.8)  (41.2)    (22.1)   (100.0)
30∼39               13         94       162      80       124       473
                     (2.8)    (19.9)    (34.2)  (16.9)    (26.2)   (100.0)
40+                   3        162       388      68       151       772
                     (0.4)    (21.0)    (50.3)   (8.8)    (19.5)   (100.0)
Agri.                 0         89       399       2        24       514
                     (0.0)    (17.3)    (77.6)   (0.4)     (4.7)   (100.0)
Mfg.                  3         10        31     151       185       380
                     (0.8)     (2.6)     (8.2)  (39.7)    (48.7)   (100.0)
SOC                  16        179       175     235       133       738
                     (2.2)    (24.3)    (23.7)  (31.8)    (18.0)   (100.0)

Note : Agri. : Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
        Mfg. : Mining and Manufacturing
        SOC : Social Overhead Capital and Other Services

In urban areas, 61.0% of employed women were wage earners and 20.8% were unpaid family workers. In rural areas, 65.8% of employed women were  unpaid-family workers and 18.1% were self-employed. By marital status, the  majority(82.4%) of the never married women were found to be regular  workers, while for married women, 43.0% were unpaid family workers, 12.9%  were regular workers, and 23.1% were temporary and daily workers.  Furthermore, 19.9% were classified as self-employed women. These  characteristics were also observed when the working status of employed  women was analyzed according to age. In 15∼24 age group, where majority  were never married, 91.3% of the employed women were wage earners, while  among women aged 40 and over, 50.3% were unpaid family workers. That is,  the distribution of working status by age of employed women reveals that  the younger the age of employed women, the higher the proportion of wage  workers. Conversely the greater the age of employed women, the greater the  proportion of non-wage workers, particularly unpaid family workers.  furthermore, the younger the age of employed women, the greater the  proportion of regular workers among wage earners, while the greater the age  of women, the greater the proportion of temporary and daily workers.

The status of female workers by industry reveals that 77.6% of employed women engaged in the sector of agriculture were unpaid family workers,  while 88.4% of women engaged in the mining and manufacturing sector were  wage workers. Compared to this, 49.8% of women employed in the sector of  SOC and other services were wage workers, whereas 24.3% were self-employed  and another 23.7% were unpaid family workers. Additionally, the majority of  self-employed women(73.7%) and female unpaid family workers(78.9%) employed  in SOC and other services were engaged in wholesale and retail trade jobs.

E. Characteristics of Major Groups of Employed Women

Through the comprehensive analysis of the women's employment structure, seven groups were classified based on the characteristics of employed  women. These seven groups accounted for 83.0% of all employed women. Four  groups, that is, A, B, C, D, accounted 83.3% of all married women, whereas  the remaining three groups, E, F, G, accounted for 81.5% of all unmarried  women.

The majority of employed women residing in rural areas were self-employed or unpaid family workers engaged in the sector of agriculture, forestry,  and fishing (Group A). The majority of women in this group were middle aged  women of 40 years old and over(79.0%) with less than primary school level  education(86.1%)

The remaining six groups pertained to the employment structure of urban women. The greatest proportion of employed women residing in urban areas  was in B group. The percentages of married women aged 30∼39 were  relatively high in groups B and C (46.0% and 48.6%,respectively), and in  group D, the proportion of women aged 40 and over was also relatively high  (45.8%). The proportions of women with higher levels of education were  relatively high in groups B, C, and D, in that order. That is, the  proportion of women with more than high school level education was 46.0% in  group B, 34.8% in Group C, and 29.1% in group D. The proportion of employed  women who had at least one child aged 6 or less was the greatest in group  C(i.e., 33.8% of married women had at least one child aged 6 or less),  followed by group B(26.2%) and group D(7.6%). That is, married women with  the employment structure of groups B and C had the attributes of higher  levels of education and younger age compared to the women of D group. As a  result, the proportion of women with at least one child aged 6 or less was  also high among these groups.

As shown in [Table 7], the majority of never married women had the type of E, F, G. The attributes of never married women reveals that majority of  them were in the 15∼24 age group, relatively younger in group G compared  to groups E and F. The highest levels of education were found among women  in group E ; 37.4% of them had higher education than the college level and  the remaining 62.6% had high school level education. About 26.5% of never  married women in group F had the educational level of college, while 62.6%  were in high school level.

[Table 7] Classification of Employed Women by Major Working Type

                                                                   Unit : %
         Type  Industry Occupation      Working Status           Percentage
                                                                 of All Em-
Married    A   Agri.    Agri.           Employer/Unpaid Family
                                                 Worker          29.9(35.5)
           B   Service  Sales/Service   Employer/Self-employed/
                                        Unpaid Family Worker     19.3(22.9)
           c   Mfg.     Production      Wage Workers             12.9(15.3)
           D   Service  Sales/Service   Wage Workers              8.1( 9.6)
Never      E   Service  Prof./Clerical  Wage Workers              7.6(48.2)
Married   F   Mfg.     Prof./Clerical  Wage Workers              3.0(19.2)
           G   Mfg.     Production      Wage Workers              2.2(14.1)

Note : 1) In Agri. Mining was also included.
        2) Service refers to SOC and Other Services
        3) The percentage in (  ) designates the respective percentages
among married women and among never married women.

In regards to the sector of manufacturing it was found that a relatively high proportion of employed women were engaged in the large-scale  establishments. If they was employed in similar kinds of establishments,  women in group G were more likely to be employed in the larger-scale  establishments than women in group F(27.8% of all never married women in  group G were employed in the establishments with 100 employees or more).

2. The conditions of Employment

A. Monthly Income and Hours Worked per Week

According to the survey results on the monthly income of employed women excluding unpaid family workers, the average monthly income of employed  women was 476 thousand won ; 478 thousand won in urban areas and 449  thousand won in rural areas(Note : Farm households were excluded from this  study because income in farm households were calculated by revenues minus  costs.).

The distribution of employed women by monthly income group was as follows ; 200∼399 thousand won(35.9% of all employed women), 400∼599 thousand  won(27.4%), 600∼799 thousand won(9.3%), 800∼999 thousand won(4.1%), less  than 200 thousand won(13.0%), and more than 1 million won per month(10.3%). That is, about half(48.9%) of all the employed women earned less than 400  thousand won which is less than the national average monthly income.

The average monthly income of unmarried women was 475 thousand won. In the case of married women, it was 478 thousand won, roughly the same as that of  never married women. By age group, the monthly 387 thousand won, income for  the 15∼24 age group was, 542 thousand won for the 25∼29 age group, 481  thousand won for the 30∼39 group, and 440 thousand won for women aged 40  and over. That is, the income level of employed women increased as the age  of women increased up to the age of 30 : however, after that age, the level  of income decreased as the age of women increased. These age patterns of  income are a result of the fact that women tend to leave the labor market  at about the age of 25∼29 for marriage and child brith and reenter the  labor market after age 30, indication that the patterns of women's economic  particpation depends highly on their life cycle.

[Table 8] Distribution of Employed Women Income Groups

                                                                   Unit : %
                  1∼9  10∼19  20∼39  40∼59  60∼79  80∼99  100+  Total
Total              4.5    8.5    35.9    27.4     9.3     4.1   10.3  100.0
Urban             4.5    8.5    35.3    27.6     9.4     4.4   10.3  100.0
Rural             4.4    8.7    45.7    23.9     8.7     0.0    8.6  100.0
* Unit : ten thousand won

The average hours worked per week of employed women was about 55.1 hours ; 52.0 hours in urban areas and 60.5 hours in rural areas. By marital status,  it was 48.7 hours per week for unmarried women and 56.3 hours for married  women. Female employers worked 67.2 hours per week ; self-employed women  62.1 hours ; unpaid family worker 61.7 hours ; and wage earners 46.7 hours.

[Table 9] Average Working Hours per Week by Occupation

                                                                Unit : hour
                      P & A   Cler.   Sales   Serv.  Agri.   Prod.   Total
Working Hours         41.3   49.2    59.8    59.8   62.2    47.2    55.1

Breaking down hours worked according to occupation, administrative and professional workers were working the least(41.3 hours), followed by  production and related workers(47.2 hours), and clerical workers(49.2  hours). Compared to this, the number of hours worked in agriculture,  forestry, and fishing was relatively high as much as 62.2 hours per week.  Women engaged in sales and services were working for 59.8 hours a week. In  other words, administrative and professional workers, production and  related workers, clerical workers, who were generally wage earners, the  working tended to be short, whereas among women in agriculture, sales, and  service jobs, where there is a high proportion of employers or unpaid  family workers, the working weeks were relatively long.

According to the statistics on working hours, 17.8% of all wage earners (130 out of 729) had worked less than 35 hours per week. The majority of  these underemployed workers(107 women) were temporary and daily workers. By  marital status, 23.9% of all married women were underemployed workers,  whereas only 4.7% of unmarried women were underemployed workers. In other  words, among married women, employers and unpaid family workers tended to  work relatively long hours. Among married women, wage workers were likely  to hold unstable jobs.

[Table 10] Distribution of Employed Women by Working Hours per Week

                                                           Unit : Person, %
                     Hour   1∼17  18∼35  36∼53   54+  Temporary   Total
                                                         on Leave
Total                         36     205     487    877     23       1,628
                            (2.2)  (12.6)  (29.9)  (53.9)  (1.4)    (100.0)
Urban                        28     149     390    450     17       1,034
                            (2.7)  (14.4)  (37.7)  (43.5)  (1.6)    (100.0)
Rural                         8      56      97    427      6         594
                            (1.4)   (9.4)  (16.3)  (71.9)  (1.0)    (100.0)
Working Status
Employer                      0       0       3     15      0          18
                            (0.0)   (0.0)  (16.7)  (83.3)  (0.0)    (100.0)
Self Employed                 8      26      42    194      4         274
  Workers                   (2.9)   (9.5)  (15.3)  (70.8)  (1.5)    (100.0)
Unpaid Family                 6      71      79    448      3         607
  Worker                   (1.0)   (11.7)  (13.0)  (73.8)  (0.5)    (100.0)
Regular                       3      20     252    109      3         387
  worker                    (0.8)   (5.2)  (65.1)  (28.2)  (0.8)    (100.0)
Temporary &                  19      88     111    111     13         342
  Daily Worker        &n
Posted by KWWA
Women's Life Cycle and Participation in the Labor Market KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 14:56:44, 조회 : 416

Women's Life Cycle and Participation in the Labor Market : Current Situation Tasks / by Taehong Kim
/ KWDI Research Reports /Women's Studeis Forum, Vol.13/December 1997  


  According to  previous studies   on the factors  determining  the supply  of
women's labor,   women's participation   in the   labor market  tends  to  be
influenced by the  life events such  as marriage,  childbirth, and child  rearing
more so than men's participation does.

  In Korea, also, according to an analysis of the variables influencing women's
labor supply,  marriage and  child rearing  had negative  impact on  the labor
supply. According   to the   1996 Economically   Active Population   Yearbook
published, by the  Bureau of  Statistics, Korean  women's economic  activities
rates by age tend  to show a  typical M shaped curve.  From 13.6% of  those
between 15~19 years of age, it reaches  a peak of 66.0% between 20~24 years,
and starts decreasing afterwards, to  51.1% for 25~29 years of  age and 49.1%
for 30~34   years of  age.  After  35 years   of age  the  economic  activities
participation rate  starts increasing  again to  60.1% for  35~39 years  of age,
reaching the peak of  65.6% for 40~44 years  of age. Then  it decreases again

  However, the previous  studies and the  participation rates by  ages are not
enough to understand women's labor  supply patterns by life  events. In order
to accurately analyze this supply,  we need longitudinal data.  However, so far
in Korea the longitudinal  data which can  grasp women's economic  activities
structure by periods and  generations have not been  produced. As the second
best alternative, A Survey on Women's Employment, published  by the KWDI,
contains data on work history. This  study analyzes women's labor supply by
life events based on the KWDI's data.


  The economic participation  rate is determined  by the  discrepancy between
the offered wage of labor market and the reservation wage which is the value
of domestic labor. For example, when we assume that the offered market wage
is W  and  the reservation  wage is  W ,  the economic  participation of the
individual is made when W  ] W  , that is, when the offered market  wage is
greater than the reservation wage.  More concretely, the factors that  influence
the economic  participation  of married  women  are those  factors  that have
impact on W  and W  , such as the incomes  of the spouse and other  family
members, the number of children,  and the presence or  absence of pre school
age children, level of education, and  age.1)J. P. Smith, ed., (1988),  pp. 90~118,
W. G. Bowen and  T. A. Finegan  (1969), pp. 88~158.  Other factors that also
have impact on  the economic  participation of  married women  are: previous
employment experiences,   promotion possibilities   and type   of employment,
government policies,  legal  and institutional   measures to  promote women's
employment,  the  attitudes  of  society  and  the  spouse  towards  women's

  When looking at women's economic  activities participation by women's  life
cycle,2)In an   analysis of   women's labor,  J.  Mincer  interpreted economic
activities participation  rate as   the proportion of   the time of  life  that the
individual participated in economic activities, using the term as a  synonym for
the working hours used by  the previous analysis of  labor supplies. However,
Lewis  and  Y.  Ben  Porath  distinguished  economic   participation rate   as
discontinuous choice at a certain point of  time as to whether to participate in
economic activities or  not. In  order to  consider the life  long labor  supplies
(economic activities participation rate) as a synonym for working hours, a few
assumptions are necessary, and the most important of these is that everyone is
employed once  in a   life time. In   other words, it  is  the assumption  that
everyone tries to maximize the effect of his or her life.
the reservation wage of married women,  which is the value of  the time they
spend at home, is different at each stages of life. As is  seen on Figure 1, the
level of  reservation wage  goes up  during childbirth  and child  rearing, and
decreases after the last child enters a school. In  comparison, the market wage
increases  continuously   as the   employment  continues.   Therefore women
participate in the labor market  done during the periods  when they are single
(b) and after child rearing  (c) when the market  offered wage is higher  than
reservation wage. Lifelong labor supplies  will be (b+c)/a in  [Figure 1]. When
women exit  the labor  market at  childbirth, the  market  offered wage  after
childbirth will show a much lower level than in [Figure 1] and as a result the
time of reemployment  will be much  later than the  time of  completing child

  Based on   such a   model, the  policies  that  support women's   economic
activities through different stages  of life can be  divided into two kinds.  The
first is to reduce the burden of child rearing and domestic work and to restrict
the increase of reservation wage during marriage,  childbirth and child rearing.
In other words, the reservation wage  level during `d' period on  [Figure 1] is
shifted down so  that women  will be induced  to stay  employed rather than
exiting during marriage, childbirth and child rearing. The second is to increase
the market  offered  wage for  the  women desiring   reemployment. In other
words, the human capital which had  been depreciated during staying home  is
recovered to the previous level through  vocational training and other methods
(policies to provide financial  assistance for the  vocational training of married
women and service to prepare  women for reemployment). Or  the government
can provide the firms with monetary incentives to encourage the reemployment
of married women, which  is another form  of policies to  increase the offered
wage level. Most European countries use the former method, while Japan uses
the latter.


1. Life Events and Women's Economic Participation

  [Table 1] shows the changes in the economic participation of married women
at different stages of life, such as marriage, the birth of  the first child and of
the last  child and   their enrollment in  school,  based on  the raw   data on
women's employment history. (The average ages at  each life stage were 21.6
years for marriage, 24.7 years  for the birth of  the first child, and  29.5 years
for the birth of the last child).

  As is seen in [Table 1], the economic participation rate right before marriage
was 55.7%   which changed  after  marriage to   36.7%, showing  that  many
working women exit from the  labor market after marriage.3)According  to the
research methods to  survey employment  history utilized  by the  KWDI, the
terms "economic participation rate" and  "the number of the  employed" should
more accurately be termed "the rate of having jobs" and "the number of those
with jobs."

  When looking at the  employment history right  after marriage, right  before
the birth of the  first child, right  after the birth  of the first child,  and right
before the birth of the last child, there is not much difference in  the economic
participation rates. However, during the period between right after the birth  of
the last  child  and before  the  entrance into  primary  school, the  economic
participation rate  of married  women tends  to  increase rapidly.  It tends  to
increase a little after the school  enrollment of the last child. This  means that
most  working  women  exit   the labor   market  after  marriage  and  find
reemployment right after  the birth  of the  last child, and  that most  women
seeking reemployment tend to find  it before the school enrollment  of the last

  Women's  employment  structure   also showed   considerable  changes  at
different stages of life. Right  before marriage, 64.6% of  the employed women
were wage earners. However, most of the female wage earners  (74.9%) exited
the labor  market right  after marriage.  In comparison,  as the  proportion of
women is   increased who  remained unemployed   before marriage  but  who
entered the labor market as unpaid family workers (42.8% of the unpaid family
workers before  marriage),  the unpaid  family  workers right   after marriage
increased rapidly to 67.1% of employed women.4)The discrepancy of 30 persons
in the number of the surveyed before marriage(2,463) and after marriage(2,493)
occurred because their ages at the  time of marriage were between  14~15 and
the survey on economic activities was not conducted before marriage but right
after marriage.

  The proportion of wage  earners is further decreased  after the birth  of the
first child from 25% right after marriage to 15% after childbirth, and further to
10% right after the birth of the  last child. The level is maintained afterwards  
throughout different life stages. Such a trend in the proportion of wage earners
by different  stages of  life  shows that  it is  difficult  for wage  earners to
continue employment after marriage,  to carry the dual  burden of employment
and childcare, and to find  reemployment as wage earners  once having exited
the labor market.

  When looking at  the proportion  of the temporary  employees among  wage
earners, the   proportion decreases   rapidly immediately   after marriage   but
gradually increases after marriage in the number  and proportion of the female
temporary employees. This shows  that there are some  opportunities open for
reemployment as temporary  employees. As to  the number  and proportion of
female employers and  self employed, they  tend to increase  through different
life stages. This is because employers  and the self employed can manage  the
burden of employment and child rearing and women accumulate enough capital
to start businesses as  they get older.  The number and  proportion of unpaid
family workers increase rapidly after marriage  and maintain a similar number
and proportion throughout different life stages.

[Table 1] Changes in Women's Employment Patterns through Life Stages
                                                           Unit : Persons, %
                           Marriage      First        Last      first child
                                      Childbirth   Childbirth   -enrollment
                       ------------- ------------ ------------ ------------
                        before/after before/after before/after before/after
Economic Activities Rate   |55.7/36.7   39.1/37.4    39.4/41.8    52.6/56.7
Total Number of Employees  |1,347/915    977/859      987/901      912/887
  Employer/self-employed   |  56/57       67/75       106/111      148/152
  Unpaid family workers    | 430/614     593/621      648/627      577/531
  Regular employees        | 774/194     255/103      156/69        55/63
  Temporary employees      | 114/50       62/60        77/94       132/141
Distribution by Work Status|100.0/100.0 100.0/100.0 100.0/100.0 100.0/100.0
  Employer/self-employed   | 4.1/6.2     6.9/8.7     10.7/12.3    16.2/17.1
  Unpaid family workers    |31.3/67.1   60.7/72.3    65.7/69.6    63.3/59.9
  Regular employees        |56.3/21.2   26.1/12.0    15.8/7.7      6.0/7.1
  Temporary employees      | 8.3/5.5     6.3/6.9      7.8/10.4    14.5/15.9
Average Age by Life Stages |  21.6세      24.7세       29.5세      35.5세
Note : Average age by life stages means  the average age of the surveyed by
life stages and  is different  from the average  of the  cohort who entered
each life stage in 1992.

  The above  statistics reveal  the following  facts  about women's  economic
activities by life  stages. First, most  employed women exit  the labor  market
after marriage, and there are  relatively few women who exit  due to the first
or last child birth. The period they  reenter the labor market after marriage is
between the birth of the last child and his entrance into an elementary school.
While in many other countries women exit of the  labor market with the birth
of the first child,  Korean women tend to  exit with marriage. This  is due to
various reasons  including the  explicit or  implicit practices  of retirement  at
marriage,  the  reservation  wage  level  which  increases  considerably  with
marriage because  of the  sexual division   of domestic work,  or the   market
offered  wage  which   is very   low  due   to direct   and  indirect   sexual
discrimination that makes  the value  of reservation wage  exceed the  market
offered wage level.

  Second, most of the regular employees  among female paid workers exit the
labor  market with marriage,  and even the  regular employees who remained
employed after marriage  mostly exit the  labor market with  the birth of  the
first child or the second child. Such regular female  employees do never return
to the labor  market as  regular employees  even after the  completion of  the
child rearing period.  This phenomenon requires further analysis as to whether
is due  to women's  preferences or  discrimination by  employers, but  a few
studies concluded that it is because of age discrimination by the employers.

  Third, the number of women who  enter the labor market after marriage  as
unpaid family workers  is increasing. Such  a phenomenon is  due to the  fact
that women tend  to help  small scale  self employed  businesses run  by the
husbands or engage in agricultural  labor after marriage. Also,  the number of
women who find reemployment as  temporary workers or new  employment is
continuously increasing. The  number of  women who  are self employed  and
employers is continuously increasing with age  regardless of the life events of

2. Participation by Education and the Attitudes of the Spouse

  [Figure 2] shows women's participation in  the labor market at different life
stages  by  education.  According   to this   figure,  the  economic  activities
participation rate  of the  women with  elementary school  graduation or   less
continues to show  a high  level regardless  of marriage,  childbirth and child

  However, a considerable number of junior high school graduates, high school,
and college graduates  exit the  labor market  after marriage.  As is  seen in
[Figure 2], the group  with the highest exit  rate after marriage ("the  number
exiting the   labor market  with  marriage/  the  number of   workers before
marriage"* 100) is high school graduates. Their economic activities participation
rate of 60.0% before marriage dropped to 19.0% right after marriage.

  In addition, timing for reemployment is relatively postponed, and they tend to
find reemployment during the  period between the  birth of the last  child and
the school enrollment of the last child.

  A considerable number of junior  high school graduates also  exits the labor
market with  marriage. However,  a  considerable number  of them  also  find
reemployment right after the birth of the last  child, and after the birth of the
last child the economic participation rate was 46.9% which is just a little short
of the level right before  marriage. Looking at the trends  of college graduates
to participate  in economic  activities in  different life  stages, the  rate drops
rapidly right  after marriage   and maintains that   level afterwards. In   other
words, college graduates show a lower exit rate, but  once having exited, they
tend not to return to the labor market again.

  [Figure 3] shows the tendency of  women to participate in the labor  market
according to   the attitudes  of  their husbands   towards women's  economic
activities. As is seen in  [Figure 3], most of  the women whose husbands  are
negative about women's  economic activities tend  to exit after  marriage. Not
only that, they show a lower rate of reemployment than those whose husbands
show positive or  neutral attitudes, and  they also tend  to find  reemployment
after the birth of the last child.

  In comparison,   the group  whose husbands   are positive  about women's
employment shows the lowest exit rate after marriage, and there is a tendency
for their economic  activities participation to  increase during the  birth of the
first child and the last child.  Such a phenomenon shows that the  attitudes of
the spouse have a  considerable impact on  the economic activities  of married
women in different stages of life, although it is  difficult to reach a conclusion
without controlling the personal variables of each group.

3. Characteristics of Women's Labor Supply by Life Events

  As was discussed above, most  women the labor market  with marriage.
Therefore this study has reviewed the changes in women's economic activities
before and after marriage.

  In [Table 2], the proportion of women who participated in economic activities
before marriage was 55.6% (1,376 persons) of all the married women surveyed.
But with marriage  55.5% of them  (19.4% in terms  of economic participation
rate) exited the  labor market. On  the other hand,  a considerable  number of
women who were out of  labor market before marriage,  entered labor market.
They account for  20.7% of the  employed women  before marriage (11.5%  in
terms of economic activities participation rate). As a result, women's economic
activities participation rate dropped  drastically from 55.6%  before marriage to
36.2% after marriage.5)If there were no additional  inflow of women who were
out of labor market before  marriage, the economic activities  participation rate
would have dropped even more drastically to 24.7%.

[Table 2] Economic Activities after Marriage
                                                           Unit :%, persons
          |        Employed     |Econo- |      Unemployed     |Non-
          | Cont- |Reemp- |Other|Active | Cont- |Reemp- |Other|Active
          | inuous|loyment|     |Rate   | inuous|loyment|     |Rate
Before    |   -   |   -   |  -  | 55.6  |   -   |   -   |  -  |   44.4
marriage  |       |       |     |       |       |       |     |
         1|  24.7 |  0.0  |11.5 | 36.2  | 33.0  | 30.8  | 0.0 |   63.8
         2|  22.2 |  1.2  |12.4 | 35.9  | 31.9  | 29.0  | 3.2 |   64.1
         3|  21.0 |  3.5  |12.3 | 36.8  | 30.9  | 28.0  | 4.3 |   63.2
After    4|  21.0 |  5.5  |12.0 | 38.4  | 30.1  | 27.0  | 4.5 |   61.6
marriage 5|  20.8 |  6.9  |12.2 | 39.9  | 29.4  | 25.0  | 5.7 |   60.1
         6|  20.6 |  9.5  |12.7 | 42.8  | 28.6  | 22.9  | 5.6 |   57.2
         7|  20.9 | 11.5  |12.3 | 44.7  | 27.8  | 21.4  | 6.1 |   55.3
         8|  20.9 | 12.9  |12.5 | 46.3  | 27.5  | 19.4  | 6.9 |   53.7
         9|  21.5 | 14.9  |12.5 | 48.9  | 26.9  | 17.4  | 6.8 |   51.1
        10|  22.1 | 15.5  |13.0 | 50.6  | 26.5  | 15.9  | 7.0 |   49.4

  From two years  after marriage, a  phenomenon appears  where the women
who had exited the  labor market with  marriage find reemployment.  In other
words, two years after marriage,  1.2% of all those surveyed  (3.4% of all the
employed women) find  reemployment. In  addition, some  of the women  who
remained out of labor market enter the labor market  anew. However, as some
of the continuously  employed women  exit the  labor market  even after two
years of marriage, and their number is larger than those finding reemployment
or new employment,  the total economic  participation rate  declines further to
35.9%. As  time  passes after  marriage,  the proportion   of the continuously
employed decreases continuously, but the degree of this  decrease is quite low.
It reaches the lowest level(20.6%) after si. years. Then starts increasing again,
which seems to be the result of an uncontrolled cohort effect.6)According to an
additional analysis, most  of the continuously  employed were unpaid  workers.
Accordingly, those employed in agriculture  and fisheries show a  high rate of
continuous employment. Most of the  employed of the previous  generation are
employed in agriculture and fisheries,  and after a certain point  the generation
effect is reflected in the statistics.

  Furthermore, The number of  the reemployed and  newly employed tends to
continuously increase.  However, with  the decrease  in the  proportion of  the
continuously employed, the proportion of those women who remain out of labor
market and those who exited the  labor market with marriage and  remain out
of labor market  also continuously  decreases. The  reason why the  economic
participation rate increases after a certain period of time after marriage despite
the  continued  decrease   of the   continuously  employed,  the  continuously
unemployed and those who quit  after marriage is that a  considerable number
of women  change their   economic activities patterns   by repeatedly exiting,
entering, and exiting again.

  Classifying the  women  according to  career  patterns after  five  years of
marriage, 33.0% of  all the  women were  consistently employed  (which is  a
concept encompassing continuously  employed and reemployed  in this article),
25.0% retired after marriage, 12.2% find employment after marriage, and 29.4%
remained consistently out of labor  market.7)There are many ways  to classify
women's career patterns. The classification used in this article is based on the
classification of the Japanese National Institute  of Employment and Vocational
Research (1988). The institute classified  among "the consistent employed type
who have  job not   only during the  period  between school  graduation  and
marriage but also  after marriage,"  "the retirement  after marriage  type who
have job   during the  period between   school graduation  and marriage   but
remains out of labor  market after marriage  up to the  point of survey," "the
employment after marriage  type who  have no job  before marriage  but find
employment  for   the first   time  after   marriage,"  and  "the   consistently
unemployed who have never been employed up the survey time." NIEVR(1988),
Women's Occupational Careers in Japan, pp. 16~17.

  The proportion of the consistently employed increases  considerably to 44.6%
in 10 years after leaving a job, due to the increase in reemployment. However,
when compared  with  Japan, the  proportion  of the   consistent employed is
relatively low, and that of the consistent unemployed is relatively high, but the
proportion of the employed after marriage is similar. In Japan the proportion of
women who exit  the labor  market after  marriage is  higher than  in Korea.
When looking at the Japanese data  by educational level, the proportion of  the
consistently unemployed was higher among the more highly  educated, and the
proportion of those who retire after marriage is higher  among the high school
graduates and junior college graduates than among college graduates or middle
school graduates. When compared with  Japan, in Korea the  proportion of the
continuously unemployed   women in   different stages   of life   is relatively
considerably high, while the proportion of the  women finding reemployment is

[Table 3] Comparison of  Women's Employment Experience Patterns  in Japan
and Korea                                                          unit: %
                           |        Korea(year after leaving job)
                           |     1year     |     5year     |    10year
Consistent                 |     24.7      |     33.4      |     44.6
Retirement after marriage  |     30.8      |     25.0      |     15.9
Employed after marriage    |     11.5      |     12.2      |     13.0
Consistent unemployed      |     33.0      |     29.4      |      7.3

                           |              Japan(by education)
                           |Total  Middle   High     Jr.College   College
                           |       School   School   Graduates    Graduates
Consistent employed        | 58.0   60.7     56.5      57.1         52.1
Retirement after marriage  | 21.3   15.3     24.7      31.8         20.8
Employed after marriage    | 13.3   17.5     11.5       5.9          8.3
Consistent unemployed      |  7.3    6.5      7.3       5.3         18.8
Source : Japan, NIEVR(1988), Women's Occupational Career in Japan.

  When looking at  the work  status of  women workers who  exit the  labor
market with marriage, 80.6% of the workers who exit are wage earners (70.0%
are regular employees and 10.2%  are temporary employees). When  looking at
the exit rate of female workers by  their work status, the highest is 72.1%  of
the temporary employees, 69.3% of regular employees, 50.0% of employers  and
the self employed, and 27.6%  of unpaid family workers.8)The  69.3% exit rate
of regular employees has policy implications in many aspects. For example, the
exit rate of 69.3% means that 70 women workers out of 100 exit, which means
very few are subject  to childcare leave.  It is easily confirmed  that the fund
size of the socialization of  childcare leave incentives and  maternity protection
will be a lot smaller than would be expected from cross section data.

  As was expected, the  exit rate was  the highest among the  wage workers
whose working hours and environments are relatively inflexible so as to  make
it difficult to carry the double burden of employment and domestic chores, and
who tend to  feel more  pressured to  retire voluntarily  or involuntarily  with
marriagd under the male centered business culture.

  As a result, when looking  at the employment structure  of the women who
continue to  work after   marriage by work   status, the proportion   of wage
earners was 64.3% before marriage but drops to 43.8% right after marriage. In
comparison, the proportion of the self employed increases from 31.7% to 51.6%.
In other words, when looking at the employment structure  of the continuously
employed, most of the  women who continue  to work after  marriage are the
self employed, and the proportion of the self employed continues to increase as
time passes.  In comparison,  the proportion  of the  wage workers  decreases
rapidly as time  passes after marriage,  and there are  very few female  wage
earners who retire at the retirement age.9)As more time passes after marriage,
there is an analytical limit as  the average age of the  surveyed increases and
the generation effects are not fully controlled.

[Table 4]  Employment Structure  of  Women before  and after   Marriage by
Occupational Status                                                 unit : %
                    Employer,    Unpaid     Regular     Temporary     Total
                    Self-        Family     Employee    Employee
                    Employed     Worker                
Exit rate             50.0        27.6        69.3         72.1       55.5
                Employment Structure by work Status
Before marriage        4.0        31.7        56.1          8.2      100.0
              1        4.6        51.6        38.7          5.1      100.0
              2        5.1        58.1        32.1          4.7      100.0
After leaving 3        5.1        62.8        27.8          4.3      100.0
job           4        4.3        65.7        25.8          4.1      100.0
              5        4.1        68.9        23.1          3.9      100.0
             10        3.2        76.5        17.0          3.2      100.0

  Looking at the changes  in the economic  activities by education,  the group
that shows  the highest   exit rate after  marriage  is high  school graduates
(75.2% of those employed before marriage exited after marriage).   The groups
with the  next highest  exit  rates are:  junior high  school  graduates 67.7%,
college graduates  55.0%, elementary   school graduates 36.8%,  and  illiterates
18.2%. The  elementary  school graduates   and illiterates are   mostly unpaid
family workers who can carry easily the dual burden of the  outside work and
the domestic chores, and cannot afford  not to work. Therefore, the  proportion
of the continuously employed is high among these groups even after marriage.
And among the  middle school graduates  and above where  the proportion of
wage workers is high, the continued employment rate of the  college graduates
tends to  be relatively  high. It  can be  speculated that  they stay  employed
because of  relatively high  wages  and good  working condition   as well as
serious professionalism, but further studies are required  to ascertain the exact
reasons why.

  Because of   such differences  in   rate by  education, the   employment
structures by education  of female employees  before and  marriage were also
very different.   The proportion   of employed  high  school  graduate  female
workers was the  highest before marriage  as 32.4%,  but decreased to  18.0%
after marriage.  For middle  school graduates,  the proportion  decreased from
19.8% to 14.4%.  In comparison, the  proportion of  the illiterates and  primary
school graduates increased  and the  proportion of  the college graduates  also
increased a little.

[Table 5]  Employment Structure  of  Women before  and after   Marriage by
Education                                                           unit : %
                |Illiterate  Elementary   Middle   High     College  Total
                |            School       School   School  
Exit rate       |  18.2       36.8         67.7     75.2     55.0     55.5
Before marriage |  12.5       22.0         19.8     32.4     13.3    100.0
After marriage  |  23.0       31.2         14.4     18.0     13.4    100.0

4. The Characteristics of Women Finding Reemployment

  The proportion of the reemployed  women who were employed while  single,
exited the labor  market after marriage,  and returned to  the labor market  is
22.2% of the  women employed  before marriage throughout  their life  stages.
Within five  years after  marriage, 6.8%  of those   employed before marriage
returned to the market, and 15.3% did within 10 years.

  Looking at the distribution of  women finding reemployment by  the time of
reemployment, about 30% return within five years after marriage, 68.6% within
10 years, and 87.2% within 15 years. This shows that  reemployment increases
gradually, but  by 15  years  after marriage  reemployment is   complete. The
reemployment of married  women occurs  rather slowly  when compared  with
Japan which  shows similar  life  stage employment  structures; 49.9%   found
reemployment within 5  years, 72.3% with  in 10 years,  and 87.9% within  15
years in Japan.

[Table 6] Distribution of Reemployed Women by the Time of Return
                               Years After Leaving Job

            2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11-15     16-30
            The proportion of the reemployed the employed before marriage
%          2.1  1.5  1.4  1.8  1.7  2.0  2.0  1.7   1.1     4.7      2.2
cumulated  2.1  3.6  5.0  6.8  8.5 10.5 12.5 14.2  15.3    20.0     22.2
The distribution of the reemployed by the time of reemployment
%          9.5  6.6  6.2  8.2  7.5  8.9  8.9  7.9   4.9     18.6    12.8
cumulated  9.5 16.1 22.3 30.5 38.0 46.9 55.8 63.7  68.6     87.2   100.0


  According the analysis so  far, one of the  most important characteristics of
Korean women's economic activities through  different life stages is  their exit
from the labor  market due  to marriage and  childbirth. In  the Korean  labor
market where  the  firms practice   compensation and  personnel management
systems based  on seniority,  such  a discontinuity  in employment   makes it
difficult for  women to  advance into  higher posts,   resulting in the  vertical
occupational segregation between men  and women as well  as low wages.  In
addition, it  is  impossible for  the  companies to  get  returns for  the  costs
invested in the education and training of women workers and skill formation of
women workers also becomes difficult. This results in gender discrimination in
education and training  as well  as various kinds  of gender  discrimination in
employment  and  promotion.  As  a  result,  the  discontinuity  in   women's
employment  due  to  marriage  and  childbirth  becomes  a  reason  for  the
worsening of  women's employment  structure  and various  kinds of   gender
discrimination in the labor market.

  Therefore Korean   women's employment   policies should  be  first  of all
concentrated on eliminating  the factors  that cause  discontinuity in  women's
employment in each life stage. Efforts should be made  to promote the lifelong
continued employment of women. In other words, policies should be introduced
which lower the reservation wage curve during  the periods between marriage,
childbirth and   the completion   of childrearing(see  Figure  1),  so that   the
reservation wage level does not exceed the market offered wage level, in order
to induce the continued employment. Of course such policies should include not
only measures to decrease the reservation wage but also measures to eliminate
discriminatory institutions  and  practices such  as  retirement on  account  of
childbirth and child rearing. Secondly,  active assistance should be provided  to
develop the capacity and to promote the  employment of the women who seek
reemployment after having exited the labor  market due to marriage, childbirth
and child  rearing. This  means the  implementation of  policies which  induce
women's return to the labor market by  raising the market offered wage level
which remained at the level of  exit time or went even below  it; also policies
should be implemented  which facilitate women's  reemployment by upgrading
the employment service for women seeking reemployment.


Appelbaum, E.(1981), Back to Work, Auburn House Publishing Company.
Blau, F. D. and M.A. Ferber(1986), The Economics of Women, Men, and Work,  
Bowen,  W.G.  and  T.A.  Finegan(1969),  The  Economics   of Labor   Force          
      Participation, Princeton University Press.
Goldin, C., Life Cycle Labor  Force Participation of Married  Women Historical  
      Evidence and Implications, Department of Employment.
Kim,  Sookon(1976),  Labor  Supply   and Unemployment   Structure,  Korean          
      Development Institute.
Kim, Sookon and Kyongok Sim(1984), Analysis  of the Factors Influencing the  
      Economic Activities Participation of Korean Women, Korean Development  
Kim, Taehong(1984),  Prospects for  the Labor  Market and  the Measures  to      
      Utilize Potential Human  Resources, Journal of  Economic Study, Korean    
      Association of Economics.
Mincer, Jacob, "Labor force  participation of married  women a study  of labor    
      supply,"   National Bureau   of Economic  Research,  Aspects  of  Labor        
      Economics, Princeton University Press.
Roh, Meehye and  Yongok Kim(1994), The  Work History of  Korean Women,    
      Korean Women's Development Institute.
Smith, J. P. ed.(1988), Female Labor  Supply Theory and Estimation, Princeton  
      University Press
Yang, Sungju(1993),  An Analysis  of  the Factors  Influencing the  Economic      
       Activities  Participation   of the   Married  Women,   Korean Women's          
      Development Institution.

Posted by KWWA
Women's Unemployment Structure and Policies KWDI
kwwa  2002-10-28 14:55:57, 조회 : 346

Women's Unemployment Structure and Policies / by Taehong Kim and Yookyoung Moon
/ KWDI Research Reports /Women's Studies Forum, Vol.16/December 2000  

Taehong Kim, Senior Fellow,
Yookyoung Moon, Fellow


  This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of unemployed women and
the women's unemployment structure in Korea and thereby develop efficient
policies to deal with women's unemployment problems.
  In 1998,  when massive unemployment  was experienced,  a considerable
number of unemployed  women gave up looking for  new jobs and remain
discouraged workers. Discouraged workers, who search for employment for
some time without success and stop looking eventually  until economic
conditions improve, were not  included in the official estimates of the
unemployment rate.  Generally women are more likely to fall into this
category rather than men of prime working age.  As a result, there is a
larger disparity between the official unemployment rate and the jobless rate
for women than for  men. Moreover the unemployment structure of women
differs significantly from that of men because unemployed women engaged
in different sectors and jobs from men. Because of such sex differentials, we
cannot understand women's unemployment  problems through a simple
distinction of gender in unemployment data. Rather, calls for analysis of the
unemployment structure, the unemployed group characteristics, and the
demand for unemployment policies by gender. In other word,  women's
unemployment problems should be approached with a gender perspective.
Moreover, when analyzing the women's unemployment problem,  women must
not be viewed just as secondary earners. In order for unemployment policies
to be effective in solving women's unemployment in the short-term
perspective and to bring about an improvement in the women's employment
structure in the mid/long-term perspective, the  women's unemployment
structure and characteristics of unemployed women will have to be reflected
in such policies. In this  regard, this study aims to analyze the
unemployment structure with a gender perspective and  to provide a remedy
for women's unemployment  based on  such an  analysis by integrating  the
gender perspective into the unemployment policy,  so as to ensure the
efficiency of the policy.

The Present Status and Structure of Women's Unemployment

  The female labor force participation and the women's employment structure
has changed rapidly  after the  IMF bailout. That  is, women's participation
rate had  continuously increased   with industrialization, reaching   47.0% in
1990, and peaking at 49.5% in 1997. However, the  labor participation rate of
women in 1998 dropped 2.5 %  points to 47.0%, which is the  same level as
  Moreover, the curve of women's economic activity participation rate by age
shows that women's participation dropped sharply  in all ages  compared to
1997 (the yearly average). The  drop was especially sharp  for women aged
between 20  and 24 (-5.4%), and between  40  and 44  (-3.7%). Such a
rapid decline for women in  their early 20s is attributed to the economic
crisis,  which has  precipitated difficulties faced  by university graduates
searching for a job and restructuring activities resulting in unmarried women
being laid off. Women aged  between 30 and 34, who are involved with child
birth  and child care,  also showed a  big drop (-3.6%). Consequently, due to
the declines in the employment rates of the age groups that mark the two high
points of an M curve, the overall women's economic activity participation has

  The 30-34 age group, marking the valley  of the M curve, also showed a
sharp drop in  economic participation,  which means  that more women  are
leaving their  jobs upon  marriage or  child birth.  Such changes  will only
decrease the  number of  women getting  employed, and  turn the  women's
employment structure into a low-income low-status  structure. Women aged  
50 and above also show a decrease of 3  percentage point compared to their
economic participation in the previous year.
  According to men and women's job loss  pattern after the end of 1997, as
of December 1998, the total  number of employed men and  women stood at
19.5 million, a decrease of 1.2  million (-5.6%) compared to the same  period
in the previous year. Breaking this down by  gender, we can see that while
575,000 men  lost their  jobs (-4.7%),  the figure  was 586,000  (-7.0%) for
women. This shows that the  impact of an economic  crisis was greater on
women than on men,  with women experiencing relatively  more damage. A
review of the  monthly job  loss by  gender, again,  shows women are  far
more damaged than men by the economic downfall.  However, the difference
of job loss between men and women is narrowing, with -1.5% for men  and
-6.2% for women in January 1998, -5.7% for men  and -8.3% for women in
August, and -4.6%  for men  and -6.7% for  women in  December. Such a
phenomenon implies that while the early  impact of the economic crisis was
concentrated on women, they  are filtering out to  men with the passing  of

[Table 1] Monthly Employment Trends for 1998
                                                                          Unit: %
|       |    Increasing rate in comparison to same month of last year (1998)      |
|       +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|       |  Jan.   Feb.  Mar.  Apr.  May  June  July  Aug.  Sep.  Oct.  Nov.  Dec. |
|Total  |  -3.4  -3.7  -4.1  -5.1  -5.3  -5.6  -6.5  -6.8  -5.9  -5.5  -6.3  -5.6 |
|Male   |  -1.5  -2.1  -2.7  -3.8  -4.2  -4.5  -5.3  -5.7  -5.0  -4.6  -5.3  -4.7 |
|Female |  -6.2  -5.9  -6.0  -7.1  -6.8  -7.1  -8.2  -8.3  -7.2  -6.7  -7.8  -7.0 |  
Source: NSO (1998), Employment Trends Research.

  In 1963, when industrialization was just beginning, the unemployment  rate
was a staggering 8.1%, with  667,000 unemployed. This high  unemployment
rate dropped down to nearly 4% in the 1970s due to rapid economic growth.
However, the nation  recorded the  first negative  growth in  1980, and  the
unemployment rate soared  at one  time up  to 5.2%.  But this figure  soon
dropped from 1981 and fell to 2% in 1990.  The 2% unemployment rate was
maintained until 1997; 2.0% in 1995, 2.0%  in 1996, and 2.6% in 1997 (Table
  However, with the onset of  the economic crisis in  late 1997, the nation's
economy suffered serious downfall, and a number of people  lost jobs so the
unemployment rate  skyrocketed. The   unemployment rate which  stood  at
1.8% (161,000 unemployed) as of October  1997, right before the government
requested a bailout  loan from  IMF, rose  to 2.3%  (207,000) in  November,
2.8% (238,000) in  December, 4.5% (934,000)  in January  1998, and 7%  (1.5
million) in   June 1998.(Table  2).  A similar   increase in  the  number  of
unemployed and unemployment rate are  expected to continue, albeit  slowed
down, well into 1999.
  By gender, changes in the  number of unemployed and the  unemployment
rate after 1969 were similar to each other. However, women's unemployment
rate, having peaked at 7.1% in 1963, dropped sharply and was maintained at
2% after 1970. In  contrast, men's unemployment  rate was maintained  at a
rather high 5% up to the mid 1980s. (Table 2) After  1995, men and women
both maintained a low unemployment rate  of 1∼2%. However, as mentioned
above, the figure rose  sharply with the onset  of the financial crisis.  As a
result, as of  December 1998,  the number of  unemployed men  exceeded 1
million (their unemployment rate  standing around 8%),  and the number  of
unemployed women stood at  500,000 (near 6%).  Women's proportion in the
total number of unemployed peaked  at 30.3% in 1963,  and then dropped to
20% and was  maintained at that  level until the  1980s. In early  1990, the
figure rose to 30% again, and then up to 36.7% in 1997, and was maintained
at 30∼35% after the  government received aid  from the IMF.  The women's
proportion of the total unemployment rate  is lower than women's proportion
of the total employment rate, which is 41.0% (1997). However, such a figure
does not imply  that fewer women  are laid off  than men. Considering  the
fact that the  job loss of  women is far  greater than that  of men, such  a
figure implies that more women are becoming economic non-participants.

[Table 2]  Yearly  Trends of  Men and Women's Unemployment Rate and
           Number of Unemployed
                                                               Unit: Thousand Persons, %
|    |         Total          |          Male           |         Female          |  %F  |
|    +-----------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------+
|    |Number of  | Unemployed | Number of  | Unemployed | Number of  | Unemployed |      |
|    |Unemployed |    Rate    | Unemployed |    Rate    | Unemployed |   Rate     |      |
|1963|   667     |    8.1     |    465     |    8.6     |    202     |    7.1     | 30.3 |
|1970|   445     |    4.4     |    343     |    5.3     |    102     |    2.8     | 22.9 |
|1980|   748     |    5.2     |    558     |    6.2     |    190     |    3.5     | 25.4 |
|1990|   454     |    2.4     |    321     |    2.9     |    133     |    1.8     | 29.3 |
|1995|   419     |    2.0     |    280     |    2.3     |    139     |    1.7     | 33.2 |
|1997|   556     |    2.6     |    352     |    2.8     |    204     |    2.3     | 36.7 |
|1998| 1,998     |    6.8     |    986     |    7.7     |    477     |    5.6     | 32.6 |
Source:  NSO (1995), Changes in Employment  for the Past  30 Years,
         NSO (1999), Annual Report on the Economically Active Population Survey.

  The official unemployment rate is one of  the important economic indexes.
The  government  refers   to the   official  unemployment   rate to   make
adjustments with   regard to  the  government expenditure,   education and
training, and social welfare aid. The unemployment rate is also an important
factor to consider in  establishing the nation's  financial policies. As  for the
unemployed, whether or not their unemployment allowance will be  extended,
or whether or not they have a good chance of getting a job  depend largely,
on the unemployment rate.
  Unemployment, in terms of statistical  purposes, is defined as  those aged
15 and  above who  have never  worked for  income, have  the desire  and
ability to work,  and have actually  searched for jobs,  during the reference
period survey  week.  However,  the official  unemployment rate  is not   a
sufficient representation of  the actual status  of unemployment. One  reason
for this is that the official  unemployment rate does not include discouraged
workers, that is, those who intend to work  but feel they cannot find a job,
or those who have given up looking for a job because they feel they do not
have the capability required. In other  words, the official unemployment rate
does not account for the hidden unemployed. As a result, some problems, in
particular with  regard to  women who  are in  large discouraged  workers,
arise.  First,  the  number  of  unemployed  women  and  the  women's
unemployment  rate  are  presumably underestimated.  Second, the
unemployment policy focuses on eliminating  legitimate barriers, but fails  to
eliminate illegitimate barriers,  which result in  causing a disparity  between
genders. Third, women  are left  out of  policy considerations,  and thereby
suffer from distorted  human resource allocation,  which, in  turn, make the
investments in education and training a waste.
  It is believed that there  are many discouraged woman  workers in Korea
just  as   in foreign   countries.  In   order to   understand   the women's
unemployment structure, it is imperative  the magnitude and the  changes in
the number of discouraged  women workers be  analyzed. According to  the
NSO's Economically  Active Population  survey, there  have been  conducted
survey on  past job  search experience  and reasons   why the discouraged
would not search for  jobs. However, the NSO  did not publish such  items.
Thus, this study defines discouraged workers  as those who did not  search
for jobs during the survey week but do have the desire and ability to  work
and have not been employed for income for the past six months.
  Based on this definition,  68,000 men are discouraged  workers, accounting
for 24.3%  of  the total  unemployed  men, numbered  at  280,000, in  1995.
Discouraged women workers  numbered at 142,000,  which was  much more
than the   total number  of  unemployed  women,  that is,   139,000. While
unemployed women accounted for  33.2% of the  officially total unemployed,
with discouraged workers included, women accounted for  44.7% of the total
unemployed. In 1998,  after the government  received financial aid  from the
IMF, the official number of  unemployed men and women  stood  at 617,000
and 317,000   respectively, but   the figures  rose  to  851,000 and   643,000
respectively when discouraged workers were  included. As of December, the
official number of unemployed men and  women was recorded at 1.1 million
and 573,000   respectively, but  then rose   to 1.4  million and   1.1 million,
respectively, when discouraged workers were included.  This means that the
total number of unemployed had exceeded 2.5 million.

[Table3]  The Number of Unemployed Men and Women According to the
          Different Definitions of Unemployment
                                                                Unit: Thousand Person
|       |     Official Unemployment Rate    | Including Discouraged Unemployment Rate |  
|       +-----------------------------------+-----------------------------------------+  
|       |   Total    Male    Female     %F  |   Total     Male     Female      %F     |  
| 1995  |    419     280      139     33.2  |    629      348       281       44.7    |  
| 1996  |    425     290      134     31.5  |    628      362       266       42.4    |  
| 1997  |    556     352      204     36.7  |    903      466       437       48.4    |  
| 1998  |  1,463     986      477     32.6  |  2,197    1,223       974       44.3    |  
Note: 1) The number of discouraged workers in 1998 was calculated based on
         the proportion of discouraged workers to the official number of
         unemployed for the years of 1995-97.
Source: NSO (1997, 1998), Economically Active Population Survey, Raw data.

  The  alternative  unemployment  rate   of Korea,   including  discouraged
workers  ([official   number  of  unemployed   +  number  of   discouraged
workers]/[number of   economically participating   population +   number of
discouraged workers] ×  100) is  as shown in  Table 4.  When the official  
unemployment rate  (OUR) and  alternative unemployment  rate (AUR)  are
compared, ① the OUR  in 1998 was 6.8%,  but the figure  rose by 3.1% to
9.9% when discouraged  workers were  included. ②  The OUR  implies the
men's rate is higher than the women's, but when the hidden unemployed  are
included, women's rate is  higher than the men's.  In other words, when  the
hidden unemployed  are included,  women's unemployment is  more serious
than men's unemployment. ③  The OUR implies  a rapid rise from  4.5% to
6.9% between January and May 1998, which continued  at 7% between June
and December.   However, the  AUR,  including  the discouraged   workers,
implies the unemployment  rate continued  to increase   from January  1998
with the exception of October  and November. This means that,  despite the
implementation of  the unemployment   policy from January,   unemployment
continued to rise.  ④ The contrast  between OUR and  AUR is greater  for
women. Women's OUR, with the  exception of July and December,  shows a
gradual increase from  February. However, the  AUR shows a  sharper rise
from March than that  shown by the  OUR, and in  particular, the monthly
fluctuation from July is much  greater for AUR than  OUR. Such difference
between the OUR and AUR  can be attributed to the  economic situation or
unemployment policy  that makes  the hidden  unemployed,  mostly women,
turn to  the officially  unemployed  or makes  the officially  unemployed  to
become hidden.

[Table 4>] Men and Women's Unemployment Rate According to the Different
           Definitions of Unemployment
                                                                        Unit: %
|       | Official Unemployment Rate | Including Discouraged Unemployment Rate |  
|       +----------------------------+-----------------------------------------+
|       |   Total    Male    Female  |      Total        Male        Female    |  
| 1995  |    2.0     2.3      2.3    |       3.0         2.8          3.3      |
| 1996  |    2.0     2.3      2.3    |       2.9         2.9          3.1      |
| 1997  |    2.6     2.8      2.8    |       4.1         3.6          4.8      |
| 1998  |    6.8     7.7      7.7    |       9.9         9.3         10.8      |
| Jan.  |    4.5     4.8      4.8    |       7.0         6.6          7.7      |
| Feb.  |    5.9     6.5      6.5    |       8.6         8.3          9.1      |
| Mar.  |    6.5     7.3      7.3    |       8.8         8.7          9.0      |
| Apr.  |    6.7     7.5      7.5    |       9.0         8.8          9.2      |
| May   |    6.9     7.8      7.8    |       9.2         9.1          9.4      |
| June  |    7.0     7.9      7.9    |       9.6         9.5          9.8      |
| July  |    7.6     8.3      8.3    |      10.5        10.2         10.8      |
| Aug.  |    7.4     8.4      8.4    |      10.3        10.1         10.5      |
| Sep.  |    7.3     8.3      8.3    |      10.6        10.1         11.2      |
| Oct.  |    7.1     7.9      7.9    |       9.7         9.5         10.0      |
| Nov.  |    7.3     8.2      8.2    |       9.9         9.8         10.8      |
| Dec.  |    7.9     8.5      8.5    |      11.4        10.1         12.1      |
Source: NSO (1997, 1998), Economically Active Population Survey, Raw data.

The Labor Transition Behaviour of Unemployed Men and Women

  Using the variable  that can  indentify the  surveyed persons,  this study
converted the   raw data  of  the Economically   Active Population  Survey
(June-December 1998)  to panel  data. Based  on such   panel data, a  flow
analysis was conducted  on the  labor market  as shown in  Table 5.  This
Table shows   the proportion  of those   who were  employed but   became
unemployed after 6 months as  1.48% and those becoming  non-participating
as 2.85%. By  gender, there  were more  once-employed men  who became
unemployed than  became non-participating.  In  contrast, there  were more
once-employed women who became non-participating than unemployed. This
shows that  more  women employed   tend to  turn non-participating   than
become unemployed.

[Table 5] Transition Rate of the Labor Market (2nd Half of 1998)
                                                                                  Unit: %
|        After|        |                   After(6 Month Average)                        |
|             +--------+----------------+------------------+-----------------------------+
|Before       |        |Employment(Et+1)|Unemployment(Ut+1)|Economically non-Active(Nt+1)|
|Employment   |  Total |       -        |      1.48        |           2.85              |
|   (Et)      |  Male  |       -        |      4.00        |           0.98              |
|             | Female |       -        |      0.48        |           1.87              |
|Unemployment |  Total |     21.12      |       -          |          12.03              |
|   (Ut)      |  Male  |     14.13      |       -          |           6.09              |
|             | Female |      7.02      |       -          |           5.92              |
|Economically |  Total |      3.32      |      1.75        |            -                |
|non-Active   |  Male  |      1.07      |      0.86        |            -                |
|   (Nt)      | Female |      2.24      |      0.87        |            -                |
Note: The  figure  shows the   rate  of  those whose   employment status
      changed from the previous period (t) to that in the next period (t+1).
Source: NSO   (June -  December, 1998),   Economically Active  Population
       Survey, Panel data.

  Overall, the transition rate  from unemployed to  employed is higher  than
those becoming non-participating.  By gender, women's  transition rate from
unemployed to non-participating was much higher compared to that of  men,
which means that  more women  than men  give up  looking for  jobs and
become  non-participating.  In  contrast,  however,  the  inflow   rate from
non-participating to   employed was   much higher   than those   becoming
unemployed. By  gender, both  men and  women showed  similar  transition
rates from  non-participating to  unemployed, but   more woman than  men
changed from non-participating to employed.
  We followed up  the labor  transition behaviour  of the unemployed  from
June to December.  The results  are shown  in Table  6. According  to the
results, 15.6%   of those   unemployed in   June stayed   unemployed until
December   with  52.2%   being  reemployed   and  32.2%   converting  to
non-participating (refer  to the   June accumulated data   of unemployed of
Table 6).   The monthly   data shows   that 18.0%   of those   who were
unemployed in June got reemployed in July, but the rate of those  that were
reemployed after 6  months was  only 13.0%.  That is,  although there  are
slight differences in  each month,  generally, the rate  of unemployed  being
reemployed declines   over time.  Meanwhile, the   rate of  those becoming
non-participating after 1 month was 11.7% but 9.8%  after six months. This
implies that the rate  of unemployed becoming  non-participating also drops
as time passes  and that  more unemployed  become non-participating soon
after they lose their jobs than a longer period after losing their jobs.

[Table 6]  Transition Behavior of Unemployed Men and Women
                                                                                  Unit: %
|                                             | June |July |Aug. |Sep. |Oct. |Nov. |Dec. |
|  Unemployed in June (Every Month)           |                    Total                 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  70.3  73.1  70.6  74.7  74.6  77.2 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.0  15.4  19.4  18.8  14.5  13.0 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -    11.7  11.5  10.0   6.5  10.9   9.8 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
|  Unemployed in June (Accumulation)          |                                          |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  70.3  51.4  36.3  27.1  20.2  15.6 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.0  28.8  38.8  45.6  49.5  52.2 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -    11.7  19.8  24.9  27.3  30.2  32.2 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
|  Unemployed in June (Every Month)           |                    Male                  |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  74.1  75.8  72.8  76.3  76.0  77.5 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.0  15.4  19.1  18.2  15.2  13.9 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -     7.9   8.9   8.1   5.4   8.8   8.6 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
|  Unemployed in June (Accumulation)          |                                          |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  70.3  53.3  38.8  29.6  22.5  17.4 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.0  29.4  39.6  46.6  51.1  54.3 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -    11.7  18.3  22.6  24.7  27.3  29.2 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
|  Unemployed in June (Every Month)           |                Female                    |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  62.3  66.6  64.3  69.4  69.2  76.0 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.1  15.5  20.2  20.6  12.1   9.6 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -    19.6  17.9  15.5  10.0  18.7  14.4 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
|  Unemployed in June (Accumulation)          |                                          |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Unemployed|100.0  70.3  46.8  30.1  20.9  14.5  11.0 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Employed  |  -    18.0  27.7  37.1  43.3  45.8  47.2 |
|Last Month Unemployed→ This Month Economica-|  -    11.7  22.9  30.1  33.1  37.0  39.1 |
|                        lly non-Active       |                                          |
Source: NSO (June-December, 1998), Economically Active Population Survey,
         Panel data.

  By gender,   the rate   of women  who  changed  from unemployed   to
employed after six months was 47.2%, while men's rate was 54.3%. Women's
reemployment rate was relatively lower than  that of men. By the period  of
unemployment, both men and women showed similar  rates of reemployment
between 1 and 4 months of unemployment. However, after the 5th month of
unemployment, women showed  a far lower  rate of being  reemployed than
men. This implies the difficulties faced by long-term  unemployed women in
finding new jobs. Moreover, despite the low reemployment rate compared  to
that of men,  women also  showed a  lower rate  of remaining  unemployed
compared to men (11.0%  of women remained unemployed  for more than 6
months while the figure  was 17.4% for men).  Such a phenomenon  can be
attributed to the high  rate of women becoming  non-participating compared
to men. Nearly 40%  of unemployed women  became non-participating after
being unemployed for  more than 6  months (compared to  29.2% for  men).
The rate of conversion to non-participating was higher in the early stage of
  Only 9.0% of men who were reemployed after 6 months were employed as
a regular  employees  and 39.4%  and  33.2% were  employed  as daily  or
temporary,  workers,   respectively.  And   the  remaining   12.8%  became
self-employed. This   was similar  for women   as well.  Only  7.0% were
reemployed as full-time employees while 51.0% were employed as temporary
and 33.5% as daily workers. Regardless of gender, most  of those who were
unemployed in June 1998 were reemployed as  temporary or daily employees
and less  than 10%  were reemployed  as full-time  employees. By  gender,
men's rate of being reemployed as  temporary or daily workers was  slightly
higher than that of women. 70% of  those who once were unemployed were
reemployed for the same job position they  once were engaged in. However,
the remaining 20% had  been reemployed at  job positions lower  than ones
they occupied before. This pattern was similar for women as well.
  This paper then  studied the  personal characteristics  of the  unemployed
according  to  their  job  transition  behavior.  The  characteristics  of  the
unemployed surveyed   in June   and characteristics   of those   who were
reemployed, those   who converted   to non-participating,   and those   who
remained unemployed, all surveyed after  June, were compared. As for  men,
those in their 30s or  40s, who were married and  had been educated up  to
high school were  mostly reemployed,  while those  who tended  to become
non-participating were   less than  29  years  old,  unmarried, and   college
graduates. In contrast, the  characteristics of unemployed women  who were
reemployed   were   the   same   as  for   those   women   who   turned
non-participating, such as married, over 40 years old, and educated up to or
less than high school. Those under 29  years of age, unmarried, and college
graduates were still looking for jobs.

Personal Characteristics of Unemployed Women

  The unemployment  rate of  men aged  15-24 was  nearly 20%  in 1998.
Unemployment rate of the prime laborforce group was also high at  7%, and
unemployment rate of elderly group  (aged 55 and above) was  also high at
5%. While women's unemployment rates  according to age showed a  similar
pattern, overall,  their  rate tended   to be lower   than that  of men.   The
unemployment rate of young women, standing at 13%,  was also lower than
that of the same age-group men. Women  less than 29 years old comprised
50.0% of the total  unemployed women (37.7%  for men), implying  that the
unemployment situation of young women was serious.
  The unemployment  pattern  according to   marriage status  showed that
42.8% were unmarried and 51.3% married. However, of those unmarried,  the
rate of those with  deceased spouses or  divorcees accounted for  only 2.5%
and 3.3% relatively.  The distribution of  the unemployed by  gender shows
that relatively more  women compared  to men were  unmarried (45.8%)  or
had deceased   spouses (5.3%).   In sum,   women whose   husbands were
deceased accounted for 69.2% of those unemployed, unmarried women 62.9%,
women 34.9%, and married women 28.8%.
  The unemployment rate was also analyzed based on the level of education.
In 1990, 0.7% of the  unemployed were educated only  up to primary school
or less, but  those who   graduated from  colleges or above  accounted for
4.4%. The unemployment  rate of highly  educated persons dropped  slightly
after 1990, reaching 3.0%  in 1997, which  was similar to 3.3%  recorded by
the  unemployed   who had   been   educated up   to   high school.   The
unemployment rate soared regardless of the educational level after the onset
of the   economic crisis,   but the   rate increased  more  sharply  for  the
less-educated, such as those having  finished only up to  secondary or high
school level. Breaking down  the analysis by gender,  before 1998, men  and
women both  showed similar  patterns. However,  after 1998,  men's pattern
showed higher  unemployment for  junior high   graduates and high  school
graduates compared to college graduates  while women's pattern showed the
unemployment increase concentrated  on high  school graduates and  college
graduates. In sum, the economic crisis worsened the unemployment situation
for less educated men, such as secondary or high  school graduates, and for
women who  received  higher education,   such as high   school or  college

[Table 7]  Trends in Men and Women's Unemployment According to Their
           Level of Education
                                                                                  Unit: %
|    |            Total          |           Male            |           Female          |
|    |Elemen Middle High  College|Elemen Middle High  College|Elemen Middle High  College|
|    |tary                 and   |tary                  and  |tary                  and  |
|    |School School School Univ. |School School School  Univ.|School School School Univ. |
|1990|  0.7   1.8    3.4    4.4  | 1.2    2.3    3.5    4.1  | 0.3    1.1    3.1    5.3  |
|1995|  0.7   1.6    2.5    2.7  | 1.2    2.0    2.6    2.5  | 0.4    1.0    2.4    3.3  |
|1996|  0.7   1.6    2.5    2.6  | 1.2    1.9    2.7    2.5  | 0.4    1.2    2.1    2.9  |
|1997|  1.0   2.2    3.3    3.0  | 1.5    2.5    3.3    2.6  | 0.6    1.7    3.3    3.7  |
|1998|  4.2   7.8    8.2    5.7  | 6.0    9.7    8.7    5.6  | 2.9    5.5    7.2    6.0  |
Source: NSO (1997), Annual  Report on the  Economically Active Population Survey,
        NSO (1998), Economically Active Population Survey, Raw data.

  Most  unemployment  studies  are   conducted on   the individual   level.
However, employment  situation  is disassociated   from the  family of   the
laborer. Thus, from a social  welfare perspective, establishing policies  solely
based on the individual's economic  status is not the right  approach. In this
regard, recently studies  are being  conducted to  find out how  the market
situation influences the family's economy and members. In Korea, it has been
found that 35.2% of the unemployed  have no other income-earning member
in his/her family. By gender, that was 46.2% of unemployed men and 24.2%
of unemployed  women. By  the type  of  unemployment, it  was 27.0%  of
women who  had turned  from non-participating  to  unemployed, 2
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