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Economically active female population tops 10 mil
July 22, 2005
The population of economically active women exceeded 10 million for the first time in May.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) said on July 19 that the number of Korean women participating in economic activity totaled 10.37 million as of the end of May, up 1.5 percent from 9.89 million a month ago. The figure represents an increase of 2.4 percent, or 231,000 women, from the same period last year. It rose to 10.5 million at the end of June, up 8.4 percent or 779,000 in five years.
The NSO categorizes those aged over 15 who are employed and unemployed but willing to work as economically active. "The fact that the economically active female population surpassed the 10 million mark indicates that more women are willing to work in addition to the female population increasing," NSO official Kim Moon-sook said.
The female population stood at 9.89 million in April, 9.71 million in March, 9.45 million in February and 9.44 million in January. In June, 51 percent of Korean females participated in economic activities, up from 39.3 percent in 1970. But it is still well below the Korean males' economic participation rate of 75.4 percent, according to the NSO.
With the rise in the number of female workers, more women are also working in "white-collar" positions. Women accounted for 34 percent of all public servants in 2004, up from 24.2 percent in 1990. Also, women took up 38.4 percent and 24.3 percent of those who passed the civil service and bar examinations, respectively, in 2004, up from 25.1 percent and 18.9 percent in 2000. Women accounted for 18.4 percent of all doctors last year, up from 13.3 percent in 1975, while they took 13 percent of all National Assembly seats, up from 5.9 percent in 2000.
In the meantime, the statistics agency said that the economically active male population totaled 14.07 million at the end of last month, up 2 percent from a year earlier. The population grew 1.8 percent year-on-year in May, 1.5 percent in April, 0.9 percent in March and 0.6 percent in February.