Jumbled conclusions

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Jumbled conclusions

The country’s largest umbrella labor union, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), said in its latest report that quality of jobs overall has been improving, as permanent jobs are increasing and temporary hiring is decreasing according to Statistics Korea’s working population survey.

It claimed that the number of self-employed decreased, whereas the number of small business owners with salaried workers has increased. It also cited employment insurance coverage data that pointed out that the number of insured was increasing. It concluded that it is unfair and excessive to talk about a job crisis from a sharp slowdown in new hires, as it is the result of restructuring of insecure jobs that cannot be covered by employment insurance.

Permanent jobs are naturally better than temporary and daily hiring. But the government-led policies to inflate the numbers of workers on permanent payrolls have hit the weakest Koreans hardest. These people’s livelihoods depend on day-to-day work. It is also a misconception to think that small business employment has increased because business is going well.

In fact, the increase in the employment by small business owners stems from the fact that employers are forcing workers to subscribe to the four state insurance programs to become eligible for hiring subsidies.

The employment insurance leaves out the self-employed, which make up a quarter of the country’s working population, as well as workers hired for 15 hours or less per week.

If jobs were on the increase due to the number of subscribers to employment insurance, how can the record number of recipients of unemployment benefits be explained? Unionists live in a comfortable world and do not care about other workers left out in the cold.

JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 17, Page 34
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