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S. Korea's working hours likely to be shorter than OECD average in 2021: report
SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean workers are likely to work shorter hours than their counterparts in 34 mostly developed countries in eight years as Koreans' yearly working hours are being cut at a rapid pace, a report said Tuesday.

   South Koreans worked 2,090 hours in 2011, compared with 2,512 hours in 2000. It represents an annual average reduction of 38 hours, or 1.65 percent, Byun Yang-gyu, a research fellow of the Korea Economic Research Institute, said in the report.

   In comparison, the average working hours of 34 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stood at 1,776 in 2011, compared with 1,844 in 2000.

   It means a contraction of an average of 0.34 percent per year.

   If the current trend continues, South Korean workers will work 1,706.4 hours in 2021, 7.8 hours shorter than the OECD average, said Byun.

   He said in the report that South Koreans work some of the longest working hours in the world, though their yearly working hours are being reduced at a rapid pace, compared with those of advanced countries.

   The report comes as lawmakers submitted a bill calling for a reduction in working hours.

   Byun voiced concerns that any dramatic reduction of working hours could undermine South Korean companies' competitiveness unless workers' productivity immediately improves.