People over 50 emerge as mainstream workforce

Posted on : 2006-07-18 11:24 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
As recent as 2003, majority of workers were in their 30s

The number of workers over 50 surpassed the working population of those in their 30s and 40s for the first time, reflecting the rapid aging of the country as a whole.

The National Statistical Office (NSO) said that in the second half of this year, the number of workers over 50 stands at about 6.5 million, or 27.7 percent of workers out of a total of 23.4 million in the workforce. This compares with about 6.2 million, or 26.5 percent, in their 30s and 6.45 million, or 27.6 percent, in their 40s. Out of workers over 50, 3.89 million were in their 50s and 2.61 million were over 60, according to the NSO.

The number of workers over 50 exceeded the 6 million mark this year for the first time, from 5.98 million last year. An increase of workers over 50 reflects that the population is rapidly aging, and that more older people have begun to work to support their livelihood.

People between the ages of 30 and 39 represented the face of the labor market until 2003. However, the ratio has continued to drop after that group was surpassed by those in their 40s the next year. Workers aged 40 to 49 accounted for as high as 27.5 percent of the total workforce in 2004 and 27.6 percent in 2005, but those over 50 surpassed them during the second half of this year. The ratio of young workers aged 15 to 29 has been declining, from 20.3 percent in 2004 to 19.5 percent in 2005 and 18.8 percent in the first half of this year.