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South Korea eyes 900,000 part-time jobs by 2017

 SEOUL: South Korea plans to create more than 900,000 part-time jobs by 2017 and cut average working hours, the government said, following up on election pledges by President Park Geun Hye.

Management of Asia’s fourth-largest economy will prioritise employment, according to Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok. Policy makers aim to boost the employment rate to 70 per cent by 2017 from 64.2 per cent in 2012.

South Korea’s government will hire part-time workers, including for teaching, from next year and seek to revise labour laws to reduce extended working hours, according to a statement from finance and other ministries. Tax benefits may encourage companies to hire part-time workers, Hyun said.

The government aims to create a total of 2.38 million jobs by 2017. South Koreans worked an average of 2,116 hours in 2011, more than the OECD average of 1,696 hours, the government said.