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Economist report on older workers in S Korea

by on October 25, 2013

Did you know that South Korea is ageing faster than any other country in the OECD?  No, me neither.

This report in the Economist highlights the ongoing culture of respect for elders but also the employment challenges raised in a country where many companies impose a retirement age around 55.   The report highlights typical stereotypes of lower productivity, resistance to change and lack of technological skills as a justification for this ‘push’ to retirement, coupled with a traditional approach to pay rises that accompany tenure.  Ironically, the prospect of early retirement could of course make these issues a self-fulfilling prophecy, the Economist suggests, since there is no incentive to acquire new skills or develop existing ones if you are shortly to be out of work.

There has been much suggestion that issues facing older workers are cultural, but this report suggest that not withstanding the broader culture of respect for older generations in South Korea, workplace challenges may be more similar than we thought.

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