“We come to work, but there is no going home,” one SOCAR employee said. SOCAR is a leading car sharing company in Korea. They made headlines about how the unemployment rate of SOCAR had risen by 70%. According to data from the company analyst Credit Job (based on data of national pension and employment insurance), the calculation of the unemployed is very simple and reasonable. This method divides the number of present working personnel by the number of people unemployed for the last 12 months. So what is causing the continual increase of unemployment and quit rates in Korea?
The reason for much unemployment in Korea is due to the toxic work culture. The first rule is to follow commands and be obedient. Junior workers must obey their superior’s instructions even if it is excessive. Second, there is a vertical office hierarchy. Third, there is frequent overtime. But working overtime looks fair in Korea. Korea’s average working hours per worker are 2052 hours a year. It is the 3rd highest number of working hours according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Finally, there is a culture of binge drinking. Going home is natural after finishing work for most people but in Korea workers have to join their company for dinner and drinks. When a superior recommends juniors to drink, they are obligated to do so. If they refuse it is viewed as being rude to the superior.
The unemployment rate of first-year workers after one year is about 49 percent. There are three typical reasons for that. First, the wages they earn are less than they hoped for. Second, there is so much work. Third, they have difficulty in adapting to their group. These workers can be classified into two types. One type wants to change their jobs for more pay. The second type want the perfect job that will help them achieve their dream.
Unemployment is likely to rise this year in South Korea. The government is continually spending money to fuel domestic employment. The government spent 52 trillion won to improve job policies for 18 months but unemployment was increased. Some people feel that the period of the government spending money to create jobs is over. They believe that the governments’effort was less effective than the policies that were already in place at the beginning of that period.
Workers who are preparing to retire are increasing more and more. But the government will continually inject public funds into policies involved in creating jobs. The National Statistical Office (NSO) said unemployment is decreasing more and more however people do not agree because the NSOs calculation method is very complicated. The Government has to simplify the calculation method of unemployment. They should to change employment policies and set up policies to reduce the quit rate of new employees.