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Haejin Kim and Paula B. Voos

This chapter focuses on the characteristics of contingent employment in Korea in relation to the labor market structure and the trade union movement. The explosion of contingent work followed the widespread restructuring after the Asian Financial Crisis. Contingent workers in Korea are more likely to be found among women, the less educated, those who are either aged 15–29 or those 50 and above. They typically earn low wages and are not covered by major social insurance programs. Industry, occupation and firm size are associated with contingent work, and contingent work ‘traps’ workers in a secondary labor market with little prospect of mobility. Legislation to protect contingent workers has become contentious and open to dispute, a familiar story in the global context. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the huge gap between contingent and regular employees might be reduced.