* This study is a condensation of the 1988 Research Report 200 -- 7 by Yong-Ja Shin, Kyoung-Ock Shim, and Seung-Joo Yang.
- For the Cooperative Project with United Nations Development Program --
1. Background and Purpose
According to Government data, the number of enterprise with five or more employees increased from 17,108 in 1975 to 107, 412 in 1986, and the types of occupations have increased from 1,532 in 1974 to 10,451 in 1986.
Such a growth in the domestic economy has lead to an increase in the demand of female resources in economic activities. The data show that the rate of participation by women in economic activities has increased from 39.6 percent in 1975 to 45.0 percent in 1987. This apparent increase in women's participation has been reflected in government policies which include signing the UN Agreement on the Equality of the Sexes in 1985, organized a section on women's development in the sixth economic and social development plan in 1987, and enacting a law for the equal employment for men and women in 1987.
Still, the vast majority of female workers in Korea are employed in occupations which require only simple skills. In addition, the employment rate of the highly-educated women has actually dropped from 52.9 percent in 1975 to 26.6 percent in 1986, showing that it has become increasingly difficult for those women to find jobs.
Also, as the nation's economy enters a state of steady and slower growth, it is expected that the structure of women employment will be characterized by something quite different from that of the past period of the rapid economic growth.
This research was based on an awareness of the above-mentioned problems and was conducted for the following purposes:
First, to understand the characteristics of the jobs that have been filled by women so far, and to forecast changes in the future structure of labor demands so as to identify prospective jobs for women in the future.
Second, to select from these prospective jobs occupations for low-income female workers, so as to provide basic materials for Job Development Programs for Low Income Women, which is a joint project of the Korean Women's Development Institute and the United Nations Development Program.
2. Subject Matter and the Methods of Research
A survey of personnel managers of 90 enterprises with more than 500 employees each. Interviews were conducted on learn their opinions on the prospective jobs for women.
Prior to conducting the survey, previous literature was reviewed to examine trends in women's occupations.
The 1979, 1983 and 1987 editions of Annual Report on Occupational Wage Survey, published by the Ministry of Labor, were utilized in this research, to study occupational changes during the last decade.