Who Are the Precarious?: Gendered Precariousness in De-Industrial South Korean Labour Market

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW2.3.03 (Tower Two)
Sophia Seung-yoon Lee, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
Seungho Baek, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
This paper aims to examine precarious workers in post-industrial South Korean labour market where both tertialization and an increase of nonstandard workers rapidly took place. Previous studies on precarious work have focused on employment status, working condition and work arrangements; however, we suggest that not only employment insecurity but also insecurity of income and social wage should be included in the conceptualization of precariousness in the labour market. This paper first conceptualizes precariousness in the labour market using set theory and generates different combinations of precariousness. We then empirically examine how precarious groups are associated with occupation classification (a matrix of skill level and work logic) using the data of Korea Labour & Income Panel Study (5th wave (2002) – 15th wave (2012)). Results from the analysis suggest that females in service work (retails, cleaning and restaurants) are consistently concentrated in the ‘most precarious’ group. With this result, we then exploited logistic analysis to investigate specific factors (such as age, skill level, household income, etc.) associated with female workers in the precarious group. Lastly, we discuss on i) who are the precarious and, ii) how gendered precariousness in South Korean labour market is structured by socioeconomic transitions of deindustrialization.