This study analyzes the qualitative changes that have been taking place in the Korean labor structure and the work-capable population, and identifies how that change has affected productivity in the Korean economy.
Labor plays a central role in economic development. Labor-management relations and harmony among workers and labor unions have always been primary issues and concerns of policymaking. The Korean workforce is by far the most decisive factor of Korea’s economic growth over the last 15 years. However, production sites are becoming increasingly automated recently, and economic growth can only accelerate the rise of automation. As automation leads to the loss of jobs, it is important for Korean policymakers and industries to find ways to improve the productivity of the Korean workforce.
Cheap and abundant labor is the foremost requirement of economic growth. Over the last few years, however, the birth rate in Korea has begun to drop, from 45 percent per thousand during 1955 through 1960 to 21 percent per thousand by 1976. The total fertility rate has also dropped from 6.1 percent in the 1960s to 3.2 percent by 1976.
The drop in the birth rate means that the Korean workforce has started to shrink. By the 1990s, the birth rate in Korea will stay around less than three percent a year. This contraction of the population will contribute to inequality among different classes of workers, to the ultimate detriment of the Korean labor structure and industries. Korean policymakers can ensure the qualitative improvement and greater productivity of the Korean labor structure by introducing better ways to develop human resources, adopting diverse approaches to workers with different educational, economic, and age backgrounds, and forecasting labor demand in different industries.
노동구조의 질적 변화와 그 생산기여도(Qualitative change in the Korean labor structure and its contribution to productivity)
|Journal Title; Vol./Issue||한국개발연구:vol. 1(issue 2)|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Employment|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|