Designing Unified Korean Labour Market: A Comparative Analysis of South and North Korean Labour Market and Policy

Friday, 3 July 2015: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
CLM.3.07 (Clement House)
Yuhwi Kim, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
Korea is called the only divided country in the world which has been separated into South and North Korea for over 60 years. Despite the issues of North Korea nuclear problem, the relationship between US and North Korea, China's stance over North Korea and interest among surrounding countries, it is expected that South and North Korea will be reunited in the near future because of instability of political and economic system in North Korea. Considering whatever form and process of the unification of South and North Korea, it is required to prepare for the integration of political and economic structure. Without due consideration for the institution of two different structures, the unification can bring a disaster, and East and West Germany have undergone trial and error after the unification. Above all, different labour market can be a critical factor for the integration of two structures. South Korea has labour market based on market economy while North Korea has labour system based on planned economy. This article analyzes labour market of South and North Korea concerning labour market structure, legislation and program by undertaking both empirical and policy analysis. By comparing labour market of South and North Korea, we aim to understand different structure of two different systems and make implications for future policy of Korea after unification. Firstly, this study commences by empirically examining labour market of South and North Korea including labour market participation, employment structure and wage level from 2008 onward. Secondly, we compare the labour market system, legislation and program of South and North Korea including regulation concerning labour management, employment relationships and labour relations, and labour market program of each labour system. Lastly, we compare the different structure and suggest policy implication for the integrated labour market of future Korea. We collect our data from Ministry of Unification National Statistical Office of South Korea.