Korea sees 22% surge in moonlighting workers during 1st quarter

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 29, 2024, 16:07 Updated : April 29, 2024, 16:07
This image was produced using the generative AI-based image creation service Karloai
This image was produced using the generative AI-based image creation service Karlo.ai

SEOUL, April 29 (AJU PRESS) – The number of Koreans juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet rose by about a quarter in the first quarter of the year, data showed Monday. The increase is particularly high among young and middle-aged workers, many engaging in the gig economy such as food delivery services.

Statistics Korea said the number of people who held one or more side jobs alongside their main one during the first three months of the year totaled 552,000, up 22.4 percent from the same period last year. Moonlighters accounted for 1.9 percent of the total number of workers, which was about 28.4 million during that period.

The surge was highest among young workers aged between 15 and 29. Those working two or more jobs in the age group increased by 30.9 percent, followed by those in their 40s with 27.7 percent and those in their 60s or older with 25.1 percent.

Statistics Korea attributed the trend to a sharp increase in gig workers like food deliverymen. Many side-hustlers favor working part-time due to their flexible working hours and easy accessibility compared to traditional jobs.

According to the Ministry of Employment of Labor, the number of food deliverymen stood at about 800,000 in 2022, a 20.3 percent increase from the previous year. Anyone can register as a delivery worker through various platforms. They earn an average of 2,500 won ($1.8) per delivery run.

A survey conducted by Korean job search portals Job Korea and Albamon early this year revealed that the main reason workers are taking side jobs is that they find it difficult to pay their bills. Of the 976 workers surveyed, 60.8 percent cited insufficient wages as the reason for taking on extra jobs, while 33.2 percent cited having free time available.
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