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S. Korea to witness world's fastest drop in labor population over next 20 years: WTO Updated: 2019-12-10 04:20:25 KST

Korea's working-age population will continue to decline in the coming years.
That's according to the World Trade Organization who said on Monday that South Korea's working population will plunge by a whopping 17 percent by 2040.
This is a faster drop than any other country in the world, and a polar opposite of the wider global trend, which is expected to see a 17 percent rise during the same period.
South Korea had 37 million people of working age, defined as those aged 15 to 64, last year.
Over the next 20 years, that number will fall to about 25 million.
The report blames the demographic transition, namely the country's low birthrate and rapidly aging population.
Experts say an increase in labor productivity could be one solution to counterbalance the phenomenon.

"We can do that by increasing capital investment or increasing labor productivity, which means we have to make more stuff per hour or we have to make more expensive stuff per hour."

The expert further suggested allowing more immigration and enlisting foreign laborers as other options.
The country's National Assembly Research Service has also noted that such a dramatic drop in labor population may cause a lack of overall labor productivity and eventually threaten the country's economic growth rate.
In fact, South Korea's GDP is only expected to grow by 65 percent by 2040, which also falls behind the global average of 80 percent.

"South Korea's demographic data is pointing to a further acceleration in the labor population decline. To reduce the burden on future generations and keep the economy strong, measures are needed to raise the birth rate AND labor productivity.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News."
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