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Korea has made significant progress towards decentralising the management of employment and training programmes, but can still do more to create stronger links with employers at the local level, according to a new OECD report.
One-half of Korea's population aged 65 and over lives in relative poverty, nearly four times higher than the OECD average of 13%. Elderly poverty is thus an urgent social problem.
To strengthen social cohesion, a top government priority, it is essential to address the labour market roots of inequality by breaking down dualism to reduce the share of non-regular workers and to boost the employment ratio toward the government’s 70% target.
Two rounds of the Survey of Adult Skills are under way: Round 1 (2008-13) with 24 participating countries, whose results were released in October 2013, and Round 2 (2012-16) with 9 participating countries, whose results will be released in 2016. A third round is scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Labour market reform to improve growth prospects and reduce inequality is a top priority in the face of rapid population ageing and a dualistic labour market. Sustaining output growth requires policies to mitigate the impact of rapid population ageing by increasing labour inputs from under-employed segments of the population.
The rapid expansion of education in Korea is exceptional and has played a key role in its economic
development. Sustaining Korea’s growth potential in the face of demographic headwinds requires further
improving the education system to boost productivity growth.
Korea should strengthen its social safety net and improve support for laid-off workers to help them find a new job more quickly, according to a new OECD report.
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The Korean labour market continues to perform well after a quick recovery from the global economic crisis. Korea’s unemployment rate was 3.2% in May 2012, 0.2% point lower than a year earlier, and nearly down to its pre-crisis level of 3.1%.
Korea faces the challenge of reversing rising inequality while sustaining robust economic growth.
Country Notes from OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth 2011 presenting OECD recommendations for structural reform priorities for individual countries.