Economically inactive hits record, above 2 million

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Economically inactive hits record, above 2 million

Korea calculates its economically inactive population, and the total is at a record.

The statistic for people not in the workforce for no reason has been compiled since 2003.

According to Statistics Korea Sunday, the number of the non-economically productive who “rested” reached 2.092 million last year, up 12.8 percent, or 238,000, from a year earlier.

People in this group are those who have no specific reason to stay unemployed, like childbirth or hospitalization. They are categorized separately from the unemployed.

This is the first time the figure broke 2 million. The rate of increase is the highest in 8 years, after 13.3 percent growth in 2011.

The increase was apparent across age groups, with highest growth rate reported for those in their 20s. The statistic for those in their 20s rose 17.3 percent to 29,000, followed by the 30s, with a 16.4 percent increase to 332,000. The number for the 50s rose 14.0 percent to 426,000, and the figure gained 13.6 percent to 223,000 for the 40s.

The number of the rested in the 60s and older category added 10.3 percent to 870,000.

According to analysis from Rep. Choo Kyung-ho of the Liberty Korea Party, the proportion of those rested in the 20s broke 5 percent for the first time, hitting 5.2 percent. For those in their 30s, it was 2.9 percent; 2.7 percent for those in their 40s; 5.0 percent for those in their 50s; and 7.7 percent for those in their 60s and older.

“Starting in 2019, the increase rate for those below 60 is higher than the figure for 60s and older,” according to the Korea Labor Institute.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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