Women Prevail Over Men in Battle for Jobs

Article From Yonhap News:

Women in 20’s Knock Down Their Male Counterparts in Employment Battle

Women take the lead over men in rate of economic participation by 2.6 percentage points at 64.6%.

30-something women an economic “tornado”. Women hitting a record high economic participation rate.

Women in their 20’s have emerged victorious over their male counterparts in a fiercely competitive job market, while women in their 30s, who suffer career interruption due to childbirth and childcare, boast the highest economic participation rate ever. The result is the narrowest gap in economic participation rates between women and men in their 30s, a government statistic reveals.

But critics say that more women need to be given opportunities to be gainfully employed, despite the improvement in numbers.

The statistical data from the National Statistics Office released on the 23rd show the economic participation rate of women in their 20s for the second quarter stands at 64.6%, taking a 2.6-point lead over men in their 20s (whose rate is 62%.)

Women in the 20-something age bracket have widened their lead since the second quarter of 2012, when women overtook men in economic participation rates.

The gender gap in economic participation between women and men in their 20s was at 1.5% for the period of April-June, 2012. The gap then dropped to 0.1%, before moving back and forth within the 0 to 1 percent range.

The latest data marks the first time that economically active women in their 20s outnumber their male counterparts by more than 2%.

The figure, 64.6%, is the second highest after 64.9% for the second quarter of 2012.

The economic participation rate for 20-something men is hovering around 62%, and is on a downward trend.

The conspicuous female presence [the so-called “female tornado”] in a fierce job market is attributable to a greater number of highly educated women, and increased preference for a career by women [over becoming full-time housewives.]

As the labor market has witnessed a structural transformation, the larger female footprint in employment is projected to persist in the long term.

The infographic shows women taking a 2.6% lead over men in their 30s in employment rate for the 2nd quarter  of 2013.

The infographic shows 20-something women (64.6%)taking a 2.6% lead over men in their 20s (62.0%) in employment rate for the 2nd quarter of 2013.

Women in their 30s, who often have their careers interrupted [by marriage or childbirth], also contributed to fueling women’s stronger presence in recruitment.

The April-June economic participation rate for 30-something women hit a record high of 58.7%, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous quarter. It narrows the gap with their male counterparts the most since the third quarter of 1999; the men with an economic participation rate of 93.8%.


20-something women’s lead in economic participation rates for the third straight year sharply contrasts with women in their 30s, who, burdened by childbirth and raising a family, are trailing far behind their male counterparts.

The latest announcement comes as the government seeks to expand the number of jobs with flexible working hours- a move that critics say is necessary in order to provide better quality jobs for women.

Last year, the Ministry of Labor stated that as of 2013, the average monthly wage for women was ₩1.705 million, just representing 64% of the average wage for men, which was ₩2.664 million.

Female university students stand in line at a job fair.

Comments From Naver:


If women are in an unfavorable position, it is called inequality, and if women have an edge, is it called a knock-out victory? kekeke


After the mandatory military service, then men graduate from their universities before beginning to prepare to get a job when they turn 28 or 29. Isn’t it natural for women in their 20s to have a higher employment rate? I suspect this article tries to instigate fighting between the genders, which is such bullshit!


This is my first comment here. Why does the article use the phrase, “women’s victory over men” in the title? Women are trying to make a living, not trying to outdo men!


I just clicked on the article after seeing the article titled “Women’s knockout victory over men.” Does the reporter (who wrote the article) harbor a profound grudge against men?


The article must have included female employment for telemarketing and part-time jobs. If a woman turned in an application for a firm, she would know what the reality is like for women. How absurd is this article!


While men fool away two years in military service, women build specs, go abroad to study or get hired early to build a career years in advance, but they are firmly against giving extra credit towards employment to men who served out their military service. On top of that, in a woman’s mind, men have to buy the home if they get married.


The reporter for this article must have been dumped by her boyfriend who was in his 20s. ke ke ke


If the survey is conducted only for big firms, rather than for small-and medium-sized companies that accept you if you just send in the application, it would slash the female employment rate. This is a loophole in statistical data.


Now can we expect women to pay for their share when they go on dates with men?


The title is a offensive as it is intended to drive a wedge between men and women. As a woman, I can’t understand why this is.

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  • Guest1

    I think increase in female employment is a great idea. why have them sit aside when they can contribute greatly to a stagnant economy? women have qualities that men certainly do not have. however, I also think what everyone should understand is that feminism is about EQUALITY. there is no denial of the gender discrimination of a male dominant society but I believe men should have the same benefits as females and vise versa. If men have to enlist, I think females should too (like Israel), if women want the ability to have a position of leadership and be the breadwinner of a household, I believe men should be able stay at home and take care of kids/chores without societal backlash. gender equality is not about overtaking the other, its about having the same freedom and opportunities as each other.

    • Left_nut

      Good comment and I agree with you on all points.

  • FYIADragoon

    One of the Korean commentators nailed it. If women are outdoing men, why are men still expected to fork out the cash for dates, cars, and houses?

    • 금정산

      Speaking generally, I don’t think men are expected to fork out on dates, cars and houses. Men still choose to do this because they are insecure and want to feel manly.

      • Joe

        Hit the nail on the head there, my friend.

      • Boris

        Have you dated any Korean women willing to have a man not do that?

        • 금정산


          • Boris

            Lucky man.

          • 금정산

            I’m certain there are much fewer women who will only date a man for his money than women who want to pay their share in outings. I have many Korean friends and observing their relationships, the women contribute as they should.

            I’ve had Korean guys tell me they want to start a relationship with a particular girl but they are hesitant because they don’t have the money to pay for outings. Men feel they need to impress women, so some men put themselves in the position of insisting on paying for everything. In my experience, these are the same men who complain women only care for money. If a man doesn’t want a woman to like him for his money, he shouldn’t pay for everything.

            Most Korean women have evolved with the times; the problem is Korean men and their archaic beliefs.

          • Boris

            Different experiences and observations.

          • 금정산

            And that’s a fair point.

            What is your experience and observation?

          • Boris

            Mixed really.

            I’ve seen some who are like the ones guys complain about and others who are not. But generally, the feeling is, on the first few outings, dates, etc, the guy should pay for everything. Then if they are together for 100 days or more, then things can mellow a bit for the guy’s wallet. But then again, the ladies do spent a lot on their looks to attract a guy. Had a pretty female co-worker complain about not finding the right guy. She also spent a lot on her looks. When the relationship is stable things are a little different.

            The car and house thing seems to be widespread across Asia (come across it in India, China, Middle East) and usually seen as a thing the Man’s side has to do to get married. My friend who has a long term Korean GF did look for an apartment to buy, (they split up) but in their case they both said they’d share the cost but if others asked, he bought it.

  • 금정산

    The statistics need to be adjusted for military service and other factors, otherwise it isn’t logical to compare the rates. If men are in service on average for 1.2 years of their 20’s, it would mean an adjustment to the ‘effective male employment rate’ of 12%. It’s good to read the commenters who get this.

    • JJ

      Completely agree. How are women “beating” men who are not employed because they’re in the military, or school? Sensationalist article.

    • commander

      I think surveys that were conducted previously also didn’t factor in military service for men.

      This means women these days fare well anyway.

  • Lee

    This is the same situation in Singapore where men have to do military conscription like South Korea. Therefore we are not that keen in marry the local women. :p

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