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How high is North Korea’s real employment and income?

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Frame of Image rding to North Korea’s 2008 census, about 88% of the population aged 20-59 are officially employed in socialist sectors. However, the actual share of the employed population who can afford a decent living is estimated at 31%-62%. As for North Korea’s PPP-based per capita income-calculated using energy usage patterns-it is well in the range of the Bank of Korea’s estimates on the North’s per capita GNI for 2008, at $948$1,361. On the contrary, Pyongyang has marked the official share of the employed population aged 20-59 at 85% and per capital income at a maximum of $2,715, implying that the capital is more affluent than the rest of the country.”
Ⅰ. Introduction
More than often, figures on the North Korean economy are subject to dispute as the authenticity and reliability of the data and compilation process are called into question. As such, one of the most difficult, and perhaps the most awkward, task for researchers studying the North Korean economy is resolving the skepticism over the data that was used. This has become particularly true for data on income and the employment
* This paper was written based on Lee Suk, Household Economic Activity in North Korea: Size, Structure and Trend, Policy Study 2015-11, Korea Development Institute, 2015 (in Korean).
KDI FOCUS
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(and unemployment) rate in recent years; existing figures for the former have become controversial and there is almost no data for the latter, although it is the key to resolving much of the controversy.
Drawing


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Title How high is North Korea’s real employment and income?
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Lee, Suk

Publisher

Sejong, South Korea:Korea Development Institute

Date 2016-12
Series Title; No KDI FOCUS / No. 78
Pages 9
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Documents
Original Format pdf
Subject Social Development < Employment
Holding Korea Development Institute
License

Abstract

According to North Korea’s 2008 census, about 88% of the population aged 20-59 are officially employed in socialist sectors. However, the actual share of the employed population who can afford a decent living is estimated at 31%-62%. As for North Korea’s PPP-based per capita income-calculated using energy usage patterns-it is well in the range of the Bank of Korea’s estimates on the North’s per capita GNI for 2008, at $948-$1,361. On the contrary, Pyongyang has marked the official share of the employed population aged 20-59 at 85% and per capital income at a maximum of $2,715, implying that the capital is more affluent than the rest of the country.
Drawing on the data from the 2008 North Korea Census directly conducted on North Korean people, this study seeks certain implications on the real employment (unemployment) rate in official socialist sectors and the real income level. (The rest omitted)

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