More than 10M women in workforce for first time

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More than 10M women in workforce for first time

The number of female workers in Korea exceeded 10 million for the first time in 2011 due to the growing female population and a higher number of job seekers among those supporting families, data showed yesterday.

Female workers totaled 10.09 million at the end of last year, up 1.8 percent or 177,000 from a year earlier, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, and Statistics Korea.

The number of female workers has been slowly rising since it exceeded 5 million in 1978. It topped 7 million in 1989 and 8 million in 1994, before surpassing 9 million in 2002.

A major factor behind the steady increase is the growing female population. The number of women over the age of 15 has expanded by more than 2 million over the past decade to 20.98 million, the data showed.

The increase might be also attributable to a growing number of women seeking jobs to support their families struggling with the rising cost of living, officials said.

In particular, those in their 50s showed the most notable increase in the working population. The number of women in this age group grew 6.8 percent on-year to a record high of 2.05 million in 2011.

This marked the first time that women in their 50s outnumbered those in their 20s in terms of the working population. Female workers in their 20s totaled 1.92 million last year, down 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

People in their 60s also saw their working population grow 5 percent on-year to 1.19 million partly because more baby boomers seek part-time jobs when they retire. Yonhap

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