“Female Tornado”, More Korean Women Employed than Men

After South Korea’s government statistics bureau announced that young women have continued to surpass men in employment, Koreans online reacted with strong resentment. Among the thousands of comments on a Yonhap article covering the report, the most popular demanded that women now begin to share in the civic responsibilities long held by men, such as serving in the military or paying for significant marriage expenses. The report comes soon after a major Constitutional Court decision that women were unsuited to serving as conscripts in the military.

Article from Yonhap News:

Female power: In the 20-something battle for jobs, the women win again.

The ratio of 20-something male to female employment reverses over the course of 4 years. The gap is now the highest ever.


Young Korean women at a 2013 job fair for women held in the city of Daejeon

The employment rate of workers in their fifties is the highest ever, and the rate of those in their twenties is the lowest in history.

The trend in the employment rate of female to male workers in their twenties over the last 4 years has made a historic reversal. Due to so-called ‘female power’, the gap is getting larger.

According to the National Statistics Office’s statements on the 19th, the employment rate of 20-something female workers last year was 57.8%. This is 2.1 percentage points higher than their male counterparts(56.8%).

The rate of participation in the workforce is defined as the percentage of people between the ages of 15 – 62 (those who are economically active) who are employed.

Since 2010, the employment rate of female workers in their twenties has been higher than their male counterparts.

In 2010, the employment rate of female 20-something workers, at 58.3%, surpassed the rate of males by 0.1%. In 2011, the lead increased to 0.4%, and in 2012, as women lead by 1.5%, the gap continues to widen.

The rate of economic participation of female 20-somethings was 62.5% in 2011, then rose to 62.9% in 2012. Conversely, the men went from 64% down to 62.6%, being surpassed by the women for the first time by 0.3%.

The labor market is changing little by little as women obtain higher levels of education and more positions in the workplace.

In every part of society, the female tornado is blowing strong even in specialized careers, and women are making considerable advances.

Among the 306 people who passed the bar exam last year, 123, or 40.2%, were women. 125 women passed the level 5 civil service exams as well, comprising 46% of total successful test-takers.

However, last year’s 20-something employment rate turned out to be the lowest ever.

Last year, the total 20-something employment rate was 56.8%. This was a sudden 1.3 percentage point drop from the prior year, and the lowest since 2000.

In the year 2000, the employment rate was 60.1%, however in 2008, the year the global financial crisis hit, it went under 60% for the first time to 59.1%. From 2009-2010 it was 58.2%, in 2011, 58.5%, and in 2012 it was 58.1%, showing last year’s statistic to be a drastic decrease in employment rates.

On the other hand, the rate of 50-something employment was highest at 73.1%, and employment of those 60 or older was at its highest since 2002 at 38.4%.

Teens, wanting to start work for the first time, are feeling frustrated. Both those in their prime and the elderly do not feel ready for retirement, so are remaining in the workplace longer. One reason given is that there are a lot of baby boomers, now all in their 50’s.

Last year the 30-something employment rate was 73.2%, and the 40-something employment rate sat at 78.4%. These rates were similar to previous years.

Comments from Naver:


If the male employment rate were higher, people would say it is due to gender discrimination and there’d be a fight over it. But since the female employment rate is higher, it’s called the “female tornado”. This really shows the way society is headed now.


So why does the man buy the house when you get married? A house is how many million won? What a messed up country…


Men go to the military for 2 years to rot, so how much could men beat women by? Military service is fatal, and not just for athletes.


I guess it’s ok to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family now.


In spite of reality, the women still get their special treatment? It’s clear the men gotta get some benefits, too.


So if the women have more jobs than men, it’s called “female power” but if the men have more jobs than women, it’s called “gender discrimination.”


I never had any regrets about going to the military, but after seeing things like this, I want to collect compensation for those 2 years.


Wedding costs are shared 10:0, housing costs 9:1, but divorce 5:5.


So why don’t these able women pay half of the wedding costs? They just waste their money before getting married on trips or whatever, but the man, he went to the military and can’t go out at all, works his ass off to barely save up for a house. Tell me, why is it like this?


So the situation is like this, you’re still a weakling and want special consideration, what else should we make women-only? The Ministry of Women is awfully quiet.


While the men just go to the military, can’t study, can’t get ready to enter the job market, these bitches just chase around seniors to mooch off of, drinking coffee while preparing their resumes or something. Despite this, there’s no extra points for going to the military, this country is so messed up.


Women see a man and wonder if he has a car, if he has a house, but men go to the military for 2 years so how could he save up for that? If you think about it the opposite way, shouldn’t a woman be able to buy a car and a house with that money she saved for 2 years?


This country is really calling men stupid to their face. Just look at the headline, it says “victory”, tsk tsk tsk. In Korea, having a son is suicide.


This country’s definitely gone insane.


For two years I cleaned guns and did useless work, and when I came back to society, I could directly feel that women my age were ahead of me. 2 years isn’t short. Honestly it was really hard.


While men are in the military for 2 years doing nothing and turning into dumbasses, women during the same time are going from one guy to the next, getting boozed up, changing boyfriends every three months, taking the TOEIC once a month. In 21 months, she’s gotten 7 boyfriends and taken the TOEIC 25 times. Even if she’s just hanging out for 2 years, it’s still 2 more years so of course there’s gonna be this ‘woman power’ thing… Can’t escape it.


Now all that’s left is for women to go to the military, too ~!!


It’s equally difficult for both men and women to get a job. Aren’t these arbitrary “battle”, “victory” buzz words thrown out just to make us fight? What an unpleasant headline.


Showing talent and effort is a good thing, but don’t argue in the office. Women at **** argue freaking too much over coffee in the break room.

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