More than seven of every 10 foreign residents in Korea are currently employed with nearly half of them working in the manufacturing industry, a government report showed Thursday.
According to the report released by Statistics Korea, there were a little more than 1.11 million foreigners aged 15 years or more with work permits in South Korea as of the end of June.
Of that total, some 791,000 were employed, posting an overall employment rate of 71 percent at the time of the country's first survey on the employment of foreign residents, the statistics office said.
The employment rate of all foreign residents eligible to work in South Korea is similar to that of South Korean males, which was at 71.6 percent at the end of June. The employment rate of all Korean citizens was at 60.1 percent at the end of last month, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
The report showed 46.5 percent or some 368,000 of foreign residents working in South Korea were employed in the manufacturing sector, which is often shunned by young South Koreans.
About 150,000, or 18.8 percent, were employed by retail and restaurant businesses with 10.7 percent hired by the construction industry.
Of the total employed, 33.4 percent, or some 265,000, said they worked more than 60 hours a week with 19.1 percent or about 151,000 saying they worked less than 60 hours but more than 50 hours a week.
Over 68 percent or some 519,000 of those surveyed said they earned less than 2 million won (US$1,850) per month with 6.8 percent or some 52,000 people responding they made less than 1 million won each month.
The Financial Supervisory Service earlier said the country's large companies paid an average of 4.17 million won in wages to each worker in June with the average wage of smaller firms coming to 2.65 million won. Though different from individual earnings, the country's average household income reached 4.14 million won at the end of September, according to data released earlier by the Statistics Korea.
More than 84 percent of all foreign residents said they wished to extend their stay in South Korea if possible by either renewing their work permits or gaining permanent residence through marriage. (Yonhap)