The percentage of working couples with children in school has decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is analyzed that many couples gave up working due to the burden of caregiving.
According to a report released today (Nov. 21) by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Research, “Gaps in the Experience and Response to Social Risks Among Working-Age Adults Due to the COVID-19 Crisis,” the proportion of working couples with children aged 8 to 17 who are in school dropped 5.4 percentage points from 65.9 percent in the first half of 2019 to 60.5 percent in the first half of 2020, when COVID-19 began to spread.
It dropped further to 59.3% in the first half of 2021, and only rose slightly to 59.7% in the first half of 2022 as life returned to normal.
Meanwhile, the proportion of childless couples working remained almost unchanged.
It remained at a similar level: 51.6% in H1 2019, 51.7% in H1 2020, 51.7% in H1 2021, and 51.7% in H1 2022.
Among couples with preschoolers who have not yet started school, the proportion of dual-earner couples was 46.1% in H1 2019, dropped to 41.8% in H1 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic, and rebounded to 45.3% in H1 2022.
“The public childcare system in the form of emergency care for preschool-aged children was activated during the COVID-19 situation,” the report said, adding that “for school-aged children, the need for parents in learning and care may have been greater due to virtual schooling안전놀이터.”
“Considering that there was no significant change in the proportion of working couples compared to those without children, this suggests that the change in the employment rate of women in households with children was significant,” he said, emphasizing that “measures should be put in place to ensure that social care systems can function during the pandemic crisis.”