- Volume 37
The problems of unemployment have been recognized as male problems even though the female unemployment problems are as significant as those of men since IMF. The women who have experienced insecure employment and lower wage than men in the labor market are having more serious economic difficulties after being unemployed. Especially economic problems of the unemployed female headed families are anticipated to be tremendous because the female heads do not have spouses who can act as a buffer seeking or beginning to work to reduce economic hardship. The purpose of this paper is to compare living conditions and utilization of the unemployment programs between male and female heads of the family who are unemployed and discouraged workers. It will examine the functionalism, human capital theory, and feminist perspectives on the cause of female unemployment in order to help understanding of their living situations after being unemployed. Then, it will compare the socio-demographic characteristics, their economic activities before being unemployed, their living conditions and changes in family life after being unemployed, their efforts to overcome unemployment and utilization of various government unemployment programs. It used the national data of National Unemployment Survey of Korean Institute of Health and Social Affairs conducted in 1998 and analyzed 283 female and 1,528 male family heads who are unemployed and discouraged workers. It reveals that the female family heads experienced lower economic status in the labor market before being unemployed, are having more serious economic hardship because of it, utilize more of the government programs such as public work and public assistance than the male family heads but less of the public loans for the unemployed. It recommends expansion of public work and public assistance, more vigorous advertisement of various unemployment programs, and active training of job creation technique for female family heads.