February 21, 2012 09:37
More than 2 million people stayed at home without engaging in any work in January. Statistics Korea on Monday said 2.01 million physically and mentally healthy people had no job or tried to find one even though they had no good reason for not doing so such as children or housework.
The number hit 1.87 million in January 2011 and crossed the 2 million mark early this year.
The number increased 137 percent since 2003, when it stood at 910,000. The main reason for the increase is that baby boomers born between 1955 and 1963 are retiring but have not been replaced with young people.
Among people in their 20s, 337,000 or 5.4 percent of the entire population in that age group of 6.25 million stayed at home. This means that more than five out of every 100 20-somethings were idle. The proportion was a mere 2.4 percent in 2003.
The unusually cold weather this winter also seems to have played a part as available day labor dwindled and many day laborers did not want to brave the chill.
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