[WSJ] South Korea’s leader pushes to make firing easier

December 14, 2015

[THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] – The prospect of fresh street protests here this week highlights the struggle South Korea’s president faces in trying to push through labor laws aimed at boosting employment and revitalizing a slowing economy.

Rigid labor regulations in South Korea are major obstacles to revving up growth, economists say, but also among the most politically difficult issues to tackle. One of the toughest challenges: dismantling a culture of jobs-for-life created following World War II that helped the nation rebound from poverty.

In the U.S. and many other industrialized nations, labor laws have loosened in recent decades as union membership has declined, allowing companies to hire and fire more easily. But in South Korea, tight restrictions on releasing staff mean businesses are more reluctant to take on permanent workers.

Around 40% of staff at private companies in South Korea are temporary or outsourced workers, according to government figures, among the highest rates in the developed world. High levels of non-regular workers drag on economic growth due to lower productivity and as consumers worried about job security spend less, economists say. [READ MORE]

One Comment

  1. Theodore

    December 15, 2015 at 9:55 PM

    This links to an article behind a pay wall. Sloppy journalism, please reprint the whole article, or write a new article, or remove this entire post.