South Korea is feared to see its employment growth continue at a slow pace due mainly to the country's low birthrate and aging of baby boomers, a central bank report showed Wednesday.
South Korea is fast ushering in an era of a growing aging population with more baby boomers, those born between 1955 and 1963 in the post 1950-53 Korean War period, retiring.
Demographic changes facing Korea are affecting the overall employment pattern and the economy, necessitating the expansion of participation by youths in the labor force and policy measures to support senior citizens who are willing to work, according to the report from the Bank of Korea.
Baby boomers in Korea, who used to be the main drivers for Korea's economic development, are estimated at about 17 percent of the country's economically active population.
The report said that the average age of workers in Korea is estimated to reach 44 in 2013, up from 38.9 in 1990, indicating that younger people's workforce participation is declining.
Korea's youth employment rate for those under 30 years of age stayed very low at 23.1 percent as of 2011, placing it in the 29th spot among the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The report said that such changes in the workforce composition are seen as loosening linkages between employment and the economic growth, as is indicated by the fact that Korea's economy has grown without generating adequate employment since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
It said that for sustainable economic growth, policymakers should make efforts to expand job creation for youths and enhance employment conditions for the elderly.