- 農経論叢 (ISSN:03855961)
- vol.72, pp.55-66, 2018-03-31
To solve the problem of a labor shortage in 3D industries (dirty, dangerous and demeaning industries) in a growing economy, the South Korean government began to develop its employment permit system for hiring foreign workers in the 1990s, followed by a series of labor policies in various areas, such as industrial technology training, employment management, and visiting employment. In this research, we focus on Chinese ethnic-Korean migrant workers, the largest group among foreign workers in Korea, study the background and current situation of related labor policies, and analyze the factors that influenced policy changes. By comparing the old- and new-generation migrant workers, it is understood that the deregulation has gradually stabilized in terms of employment, policies, welfare, etc. With the introduction of the visiting employment policy, illegal stays stemming from old policies, such as those for the purpose of visiting relatives or participating in industrial training programs, are legalized and regulated, and illegal ethnic-Korean migrant workers are recognized as" compatriots." Since foreign workers are essential for Korea's labor market, providing access for trainees to change their employment status and join the legal labor force has helped to guarantee the labor supplement on one hand and reduce the number of illegal stays on the other. As a result, nearly 30% of Chinese ethnic-Koreans chose to stay in South Korea, accounting for 2.4% of Korea's economically active population.