Nearly 15 percent of employees in the South Korean construction industry were foreigners in the first quarter of the year amid a shortage of local laborers at construction sites, a report showed Sunday.
A total of 110,000 workers of foreign nationality were working at construction sites as of end-March, accounting for 14.8 percent of the 741,000 construction workers, according to the quarterly report by the Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association.
The number of foreign construction workers has been on a steady rise from 77,000 in 2020 to 86,000 in 2021 and 93,000 in 2022, with their percentage of the total coming to 12.9 percent, 13.7 percent and 14.1 percent in those years, respectively.
The construction industry is one of the industrial sectors that rely heavily on foreign workers as a growing number of locals are not interested in undertaking hard manual labor.
Insiders, however, said the actual number of foreigners at construction sites is far larger than the statistics show as undocumented migrant workers were not included in the report.
Source: Yonhap News Agency