South Korea’s manufacturing sector facing aging workforce issue: KERI

South Korea’s manufacturing sector facing aging workforce issue: KERI

by Pranali Mehta

A report from Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), released on 23rd of August, has reportedly stated that the South Korea’s manufacturing sector is facing a concerning issue of  rapidly aging workforce over the last decade, raising fears that it would severely limit the country's future development potential.

According to the report, people aged 50 and above accounted for 30.1% of the nation's total manufacturing workforce in 2020, up from 15.7% ten years earlier.

In contrast, the percentage of manufacturing personnel aged around 30 to 39 years decreased from 35.1% to 27.8% over the same time period, the largest reduction among all age groups.

The percentage of manufacturing workers aged 15 to 29 decreased from 21.6% to 15.2%, while workers aged 40-49 fell from 27.7% to 26.9%.

KERI, the research wing of the Federation of Korean Industries, stated that a nearly twofold rise in the number of elderly manufacturing workers illustrates how serious the country's industrial workforce is aging.

According to the think tank, manufacturing workers in South Korea are aging significantly faster than those in the Japan and United States.

South Korean manufacturing employees' average age increased by 3.3% to 42.4 years in 2020, up from 39.2 years in 2011. Over the same time period, Japan's figure increased to 42.8 from 41.6, while America's increased to 44.4 from 44.1.

The quick aging of South Korea's industrial workforce, according to KERI, is mostly due to the country's low population growth and population aging.

South Korea is among the world's lowest birth rate countries. The country is largely anticipated to become a super-aged society by 2025, with individuals aged 65 and over accounting for 20% of the total population. In 2017, the country became an elderly society, with the proportion of proportion of the demographic exceeding 14%.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...