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Economic crisis and the changes in female employment structure in South Korea

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  • Economic crisis and the changes in female employment structure in South Korea
  • Min, Hyun-Joo; Lim, Hee-Jung
  • Korean Woman's Development Institute


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Title Economic crisis and the changes in female employment structure in South Korea
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Min, Hyun-Joo; Lim, Hee-Jung

Publisher

Seoul:Korean Woman's Development Institute

Date 2010-12
Series Title; No Research Project
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Employment
Social Development < Gender
Holding Korean Woman's Development Institute

Abstract

It is assumed that the economic crisis starting from 2008 has made worse women's labor market situation in that unemployment rates of women have increased and even the number of economically inactive women have rapidly grown. Scholars discuss that the impact of the economic crisis in 2008 on the employment for both men and women was not large compared that of the economic crisis in 1997, but it does not tell us that women's employment structure since 1997 has been stabilized or improved to endure the economic fluctuation. Rather the economic crisis in 1997 made women's employment in a limited situation such as contract-based employment so that women's employment can be easily replaced for employers' sake.
This study has investigated the changes in the employment structure of women compared to women surrounding the economic crisis in 2008 using the data for Economically Active Persons 2000-2009. By analyzing the changes in employment by sex, age, education, industries, occupations, and employment statues, this study has aimed to present the differences in the effects of the economic crisis on between men and women. Further, this study has investigated whether particular labour groups have consistently been vulnerable to the economic fluctuation. The findings highlight that women are disadvantaged than men in employment stability and are more likely than men to fall into unpaid family business or unemployment. Finally this study has explored the strategies of corporate in adjusting to economic fluctuation with special attention to human resources management for women using FGD(Focused Group Discussion). The results emphasized that companies do not have any programs which target to women personnels, but have already restructured employment system which divides human resources into core and periphery. By doing so, companies could easily restructure human resources at any time. Unfortunately, the majority of the periphery consists of women in any companies.
In conclusion, it is necessary to focus on the stability of female employment. Since the economic crisis in 1997 most companies already restructured their employment system so that they can easily restructure human resources in the face of economic crisis or economic fluctuation. In process of restructuring the system, most women's jobs turned into temporary or contract-based jobs. This implies companies can hire or fire women workers depending on the situation, so women's employment has become more insecure.