Foreign labor quota raisedSeoul has decided to increase its hiring quota for foreign manual laborers this year by more than 40 percent, as a faster-than-expected economic recovery has worsened labor shortages at small and mid-size businesses, the Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday.
At the beginning of this year, the quota for foreign workers to be hired by local manufacturers and farms was set at 24,000, down from last year’s quota of 34,000, in consideration of the global economic slump.
As the domestic economy has rebounded, however, the Seoul government has revised the quota upward to last year’s level, the office said.
The government had cut the foreign labor quota this year as part of efforts to boost employment among locals hurt by the global economic crisis.
Earlier this week, President Lee Myung-bak instructed his officials at an emergency economic policy meeting to relax the quota regulations so companies, especially smaller ones, could hire more foreign workers.
Most of the additional workers will be allocated to manufacturers sustaining serious manpower shortages, while the rest will go to the agricultural, livestock and fisheries industries, the office said in a news release.