Pandemic and Job-rich recovery [BOK Issue Note 2023-27]

Macro Economy
Job-rich Recovery pandemic employment rate economic recovery labor market
Research Department(02-759-4291)

1. After the pandemic, “Job-rich Recovery“ has emerged in the economic recovery, marked by a rapid increase in the employment rate. This is quite unusual compared to the past economic recovery periods, which often saw growth without employment, so-called jobless recovery. The occurrence of job-rich recovery is not limited to Korea, but is also observed in major advanced countries.

2. Job-rich recovery is closely related to the characteristics of the pandemic recession, such as prolonged social distancing. Specifically, this trend is attributed to the rapid recovery of contact-intensive service industry, reduction in working hours, increased flexibility in work arrangments, changes in social norms, and labor hoarding.

3. The expansion of the labor force base led by women during the job-rich recovery is being positively evaluated. However, it is worth noting that the rapid recovery of the labor market, without smooth labor reallocation, has led to a slowdown in the

growth of labor productivity.

4. The structural changes in the labor market triggered by the pandemic are likely to continue in the future. To gain a clearer understanding of the impacts of such structural changes, it is necessary to analyze not only quantitative employment indicators but also various microdata.

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