Published on Korea Herald, by Lee Sun-young, May 22, 2007.
Korea is failing to tap the labor pool of highly educated women, which in many advanced countries, was the key to economic expansion and prosperity, experts said yesterday.
Kim Young-ok, a senior researcher at Korean Women’s Development Institute, said in a forum held in Seoul that many advanced economies witnessed a significant rise in female workers’ participation in the labor market during the years leading up to the breaking of the $20,000 per-capita income mark.
“Although Korea’s per-capita income is nearing $20,000, its female employment rate has not increased to a noticeable degree,” she said.
According to 2004 OECD data, the female labor force participation rate of Asia’s third-largest economy is 54.4 percent, about 20 percentage points lower than that of advanced economies. It ranks 27th among the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The ratio indicates that only about half of Korean women aged between 16 and 64 years of age are employed. (full text).