10 percent of Korean workers work for the government
And the hiring continues, with the government saying it will bring an additional 26,000 people on board this year.
According to the Finance Ministry on Monday, in 2020, 2.77 million people were employed in the public sector, including at government institutions and public companies.
That's 10.2 percent of Koreans employed in 2020, up from 9.5 percent in 2019.
Of the 164,000 people hired in the public sector in 2020, nearly 80 percent were employed at public institutions. Some 25,000 were hired at non-profit organizations and 9,000 at state-owned companies.
According to the Finance Ministry, there has been a huge demand for public jobs since Covid-19 emerged, especially in caring for children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Covid-19's impact on jobs has forced the government to aggressively increase employment in the public sector.
The ministry added that hiring in the public sector has also helped with the livelihoods of people most vulnerable to the Covid-19 shock, such as young people and the elderly.
More women were hired than men. In 2020, women hired in the public sector totaled 103,000 compared with 61,000 men.
By age, most jobs went to the elderly.
There were 46,000 people 60 or older hired for public sector jobs in 2020, 41,000 people in their 50s, 33,000 people in their 20s, 27,000 people in their 40s and 17,000 in their 30s.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday that the government will continue its hiring amid Covid-19 pandemic.
"This year we, will hire 26,000 regular employees mostly in the public service sector, which has been seeing demand grow amid economic and social structural changes such as strengthening of safety in the public health and Korea's New Deal," Hong said. "Most of all we will provide quality jobs that young people prefer."
Hong stressed that with the amendment to the Special Act on Promotion of Youth Employment, the regulation that requires government institutions and state-owned companies to ensure that 3 percent of new hires are 19 to 34 has been extended to the end of 2023.
The ratio of people with disabilities employed as regular workers has been raised from previous 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent and the ratio locals hired has been increased to 30 percent from 27 percent.
The government this year will also increase the number of internships offered.
"This year, the government is investing 67 trillion won, which is 2.3 trillion won more than last year, in public institutions, which is an all-time record," Hong said.
The finance minister stressed that the additional hiring will contribute to improved public services.
The government on Monday held a job fair, with 151 public institutions participating.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]