The number of non-regular workers in South Korea is at its highest in 12 years while the number of regular workers has sharply decreased, adding to concerns about the quality of jobs.
According to the Statistics Agency on Tuesday, the number of non-regular employees reached nearly 7.5 million in August, up 13 percent on-year.
That's the highest figure since March 2007.
The number of regular employees was down 350-thousand to some 13-million.
Responding to the criticism that the government has made the already unstable labor market more fragile, the statistics agency attributed the results to a change in the way they classify and count jobs.
They said they have changed how they classify fixed-term contracts, and as a result, up to 500-thousand workers employed under fixed-term contracts are now counted by the statistics agency as non-regular workers.
Those include fixed-term workers whose employment terms aren't decided, but can end anytime.
The finance ministry also said the hike in the number of non-regular jobs was because of the increase in new jobs through the government's job creation policies.
Skeptics, however, said the policies have actually churned out short-term jobs mainly for the elderly.
When it comes to salary, non-regular workers earned some 1.4 thousand U.S. dollars a month on average from June to August, compared to 2.7-thousand dollars for regular workers.
By age, those in their 60s or above were the dominant age group in the temporary job market, followed by people in their 50s and 20s.
By gender, women took 55 percent of the temporary job market and men accounted for 45 percent.
Most of them worked in the health and service sector or in facility management.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.