Permanent Jobs Disappear from South Kor…

Before the financial crisis of 1997-98 in East Asia, there was no word in the Korean language for “irregular worker” – workers with no guarantees of job security or promotion, working on short-term contracts. Permanent jobs were the norm until the tumult of the late 1990s (invariably referred to as “the IMF crisis” by South Koreans) set in motion changes in the nature of employment that are now jeopardizing the country’s middle class and social cohesion.

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