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People who work as sole proprietors, such as
special employment workers or freelancers, are called "non-wage workers." They actually work, but they are not legally recognized as workers. There are nearly 800 million such non-wage workers, especially those under 30.

Reporter Won Jong-jin reports.


Mr. A, who is in his late 300s and lives in various jobs, is more familiar with the word "work" than "job."

[Mr. A/Freelance Worker: There are many platforms where you can get 'N jobs'. On weekends I go to weddings to sing anthems, and on weekdays I work on designs...]

The money I earn from one job is not enough to sustain myself, so I have to take up several jobs.

[Mr. A/Freelance Worker: My main source of income is video editing, but it's a bit of a bummer, because money that normally comes and goes to cover things like fixed expenses that go out...]

The number of non-wage workers like Mr. A has exploded by 20% in the last five years, approaching 5 million.

It accounts for one-third of the economically active population.

In particular, the number of non-wage workers under 50, the younger generation, exceeded 800 million for the first time.

Income is also unstable, and when we look at each occupation, most of them have annual income that does not reach the minimum wage, so it is inevitable to live a life of so-called "N jobs" who have to work in several occupations at the same time to make a living.

[Rep. Park Yong-jin/MDP: When I looked at the statistics, I was actually very surprised, the existing social security system does not cover them, whether it is the national health insurance or the national pension system.]

The problem is that most of them are not classified as "workers" and are therefore not protected by labor policy.

[Na Hyun-woo/General Secretary of the Youth Union: (The union member) is a freelancer, but he is in arrears of wages. This person is not protected because he is a freelancer. All he can do is file a lawsuit, but he will get less than 3 million won....]

As the existing regular labor market is rapidly collapsing, the existing concept of "jobs" has already been dismantled for future generations.

Labor policies that fully reflect these realities are required.

(Video Interview: Bae Moon-san, Video Editing: Lee Seung-hee)