Dire, South Korean Young People Are Starting to Give Up on Looking for Work Lifestyle – 7 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Nearly 4 out of 10 young South Koreans have been unemployed over the past three years. This data increasingly highlights the issue that more and more young people have given up looking for work.

Launch Korea Heraldaccording to Statistics Korea data released on Sunday (22/10/2023), around 218,000 Koreans aged 15 to 29 years had not worked for more than three years in May 2023. Among this group, 80,000 are those who spend most of their time at home without looking for work, training or undergoing education. The Korea Statistics Agency includes them in the category not in education, employment or training (NEET).


The agency also found that the number of economically active young people continues to decline, despite an increase in the number of workers across the age range.

The data released on October 13 showed that the number of working people aged 15 to 29 years decreased by 89,000. This data adds to the length of the decline for 11 consecutive months.

The increasing number of unemployed young people also limits their chances of finding a partner and having children. The Korea Labor Institute report also explains that unstable employment status such as precarious and part-time work greatly reduces young people’s desire to marry.

The biggest reason why more than 80 percent of men do not marry is difficult economic conditions. Meanwhile, in the case of women, apart from economic factors, they also mentioned social pressure on them to take care of household work.

The reason many young people give up looking for work

Kim Youngsuck, an office worker, looks at his mobile phone to check the local online banking app Toss at Seoul Museum of Art during a lunch break in Seoul, South Korea, April 13, 2023. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiPhoto: REUTERS/KIM HONG-JI
Kim Youngsuck, an office worker, looks at his mobile phone during a lunch break in Seoul, South Korea, April 13, 2023. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Kim Sung-hee, a professor at the School of Labor Studies at Korea University, said that the main problem behind this issue is the lack of stable and well-paid jobs.

“Jobs with good prospects and decent wages such as permanent employees in large companies with more than 300 employees – they only account for about 10 percent of all jobs in the country,” Kim said.

Kim Sang-bong, an economics professor at Hansung University, stressed that the rise in new types of work, including temporary workers and freelancers, is a phenomenon that other developed countries such as the United States and Japan have experienced.

He also touched on the social safety net that allows people to adjust to the new job market.

“If we cannot create positions that are traditionally considered good jobs, we should try to make the labor market more flexible by narrowing the wage gap between regular and non-regular workers and protecting workers who are not affected by the law,” said Kim Sang-bong .

South Korean Government Strategy

Central and city governments are working hard to create policies that encourage the younger generation to be socially active.

Deputy Minister of Labor Lee Sung-hee announced that a total of 9,000 unemployed young people will be selected to receive support funds of 3 million won next year. They will receive a government employment support program will receive a one-time cash subsidy, counseling, and job search consultation.

The government is also trying to increase the number of young workers by investing 28.1 billion won by 2024 to implement support projects, including employment counseling.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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