You are here


Impacts on Employment and Tasks due to the Influx of Foreign Workers in Seoul

Jinha KimㆍMin young Hwang

The majority of foreign workers who are simple-skilled workers in Seoul are Korean-Chinese immigrants. In the case of Seoul, there is a trend where the number of professionals who have graduated with college degrees or higher has continued to decrease over time. The industries within which simple-skilled workers make up a large proportion of the workforce include the areas of construction, wholesale and retail, food service, accommodation, business service, and personal service. Professional manpower is mainly concentrated within the business service, personal service, and public service. Simple craftsmen mainly work as craftsmen, machine operators, assembly workers, and simple labor workers. There is a high number of managers, experts and related workers in Seoul's professional workforce.
This study conducted two empirical analyses on the employment of foreign workers. Firstly, it was analyzed whether there is an alternative type of relationship between foreign workers and domestic employees. Regardless of whether it is an employment-licensed business in Seoul or a business with a large number of professionals, Korean workers had a substitutional relationship with foreign workers. Secondly, the effect of hiring foreign workers on the profitability of the companies was analyzed. In the employment-licensed industry, the more foreign workers that were employed, the higher the profitability of the company, but the higher the investment cost for the foreign workers, the less profitable the company’s operations.
In order to give local governments the right to determine the size of foreign workers, a right which is currently being exercised by the central government, governmental institutional reform is necessary. Seoul should also be able to play a role as a general manager through the establishment of a manpower utilization plan for each skill level, so that manpower can be more smoothly  used and deployed on site.