Sunday, March 25, 2007
Blue Collars Beat White Collars In South Korea
Is this the wave of the future for all of us? White collar workers retire earlier than blue collar workers in South Korea. This seems counterintuitive, as one would assume that jobs that require mental skills would allow one to work longer than those that require physical brawn. Clearly, it has something to do with the greater vulnerability of white collar workers in the corporate structure in South Korea, and their ultimate expendability. The official retirement age at most Korean companies is 57, but white collar workers find themselves out on the street at an average age of 52.4. As a consequence, many students are switching from academic programs to a vocational or technical curriculum. A survey of students enrolled in one-year technical programs showed that one in three had held office jobs before enrolling. 35 percent held college degrees, up from 18 percent in 2004. The life of the salaryman is no longer as attractive - or perhaps as dignified - as it used to be. It may not be long before the glories of globalization turn all of us everywhere into plumbers.
"White-Collar Workers Turning to Blue-Collar Jobs" from english.chosun.com (South Korea)
"'Royal' Blue-Collars Emerge" from The Korea Times