Korea to expand public sector hiring for first time in five years

2024.01.18 14:24:02 | 2024.01.18 15:51:09

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

The South Korean government has decided to hire 24,000 new workers in public institutions this year, up by 2,000 from 2023, the first increase since 2019.

According to sources from the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Wednesday, the government will increase the number of new hires and the total number of employees in public institutions in 2024.

The number of new hires in public institutions had been at the level of 25,659 until 2017, but increased by 8,000 to 10,000 annually under the previous Moon Jae-in administration, reaching 41,322 in 2019.

The trend has since been on a downward trajectory, with the number of new hires down to 25,542 in 2022. The current government reduced its hiring target to 22,000 in 2023, but is now planning to increase it again in 2024.

Total workforce of public institutions is also expected to increase for the first time in two years.

The number of public sector employees increased sharply during the previous government, from 379,385 in 2018 to 445,175 in 2022. The number fell to 436,079 in 2023 under the current government, but is expected to rise again by about 1,000 in 2024.

There is criticism, in the meantime, that this move is aimed at capturing votes ahead of the general elections. In 2022, the government had announced the New Government Public Institution Innovation Guidelines, setting the goal of slimming down workforce in the public sector.

By Lee Yoon-sik, Lee Hee-jo, and Yoon Yeon-hae

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