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Only one-third of disabled people in S. Korea had jobs in 2019


SEJONG -- Only one-third of people with disabilities had jobs last year, data showed Friday, underscoring the employment challenges facing disabled people.

The employment rate of disabled people stood at 34.9 percent in 2019, compared with the rate of 60.9 percent for the total population, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

By age, the employment rate of disabled people from 15 and 29 stood at 30.6 percent while that for people aged 30 to 39 stood at 53.4 percent.

As of 2018, 2.51 million people, or 5 percent of the total population, were registered as suffering from some kind of debilitating condition, according to the data.

Of them, 58.3 percent were over 60 years old. In comparison, only 19.7 percent of non-disabled people were over 60 years old in 2018.

The data showed that 48.1 percent of disabled people had physical disabilities, with people suffering from hearing and sight-related impairments standing at 13.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.

Those categorized with minor disabilities made up 63.6 percent of the total, with the rest being serious disabilities, the data showed.

It was the first comprehensive annual survey on the lives of disabled people published by Statistics Korea.

President Moon Jae-in has said the government will overhaul the relevant system to ensure that those with disabilities do not suffer unfairly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"A disaster does not hit everyone with the same magnitude. For those with disabilities and the vulnerable, disasters are even harsher," Moon said in April on the 40th Day of People with Disabilities.

"In a world where people with disabilities can lead their daily lives to the fullest without inconveniences, the lives of people without disabilities are also abundant," Moon said. (Yonhap)