More Koreans put personal life and work on equal footing: lifestyle survey

2019.11.25 15:00:47

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South Koreans have renounced their workaholic image as fewer place work before family and personal life, latest lifestyle survey showed.

According to the lifestyle survey conducted by Statistics Korea every two years on 37,000 respondents aged 13 and over from May 15-30, 42.1 percent said they prioritize work over others, down 1 percentage point from 43.1 percent two years ago. The survey showed that 13.7 percent of respondents put family first, down 0.2 percentage point over the cited period.

The greater share 44.2 percent prized both work and family, up 1.3 percentage points from two years ago, suggesting personal life has become equally important as career for Koreans.

By age group, 50.3 percent of respondents aged between 19 and 29 said that they put priority on work while those aged 30 and over both on work and family life.

The survey also showed that 59.1 percent of respondents aged 19 and over were insecure about jobs and income status. Reflecting their job insecurity, 22.8 percent of respondents aged between 13 and 29 wished for government jobs that promise security until retirement, 21.7 percent public companies, and 17.4 percent large companies. The other 11.9 percent wanted to be self-employed, 6.9 percent work at foreign companies, 6.8 percent at specialized companies, 5 percent at small- and mid-size firms, 4.3 percent at overseas companies, and 2.1 percent at start-ups.

For Korean females, childcare was the biggest stumbling block in career pursuit (50.6 percent), followed by social prejudices (17.7 percent).

Of the employed aged 19 or older, 83.1 percent earned income, up 1 percentage point from two years ago. Among them, only 14.1 percent were satisfied with their income while the other 43.5 percent not.

Only 16.8 percent of respondents were happy about their overall spending on life necessities and leisure activities, up 1.4 percentage point during the same period.

The survey showed that 58.4 percent aged 19 and over found no change in household income level from two years ago, up 0.4 percentage point, while only 18.8 percent reported increase.

On the other hand, 69 percent also did not see any decrease in debt levels from two years ago, 3.3 percent from 2017. More than 22 percent said they believe financial conditions to worsen next year, up 2.8 percentage points, while only 23.4 percent said they will improve, down 3.1 percentage points from two years ago.

By Lee Eun-joo

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