A staggering eight out of 10 young jobless Koreans are giving up looking for work altogether, a survey by the Korea Employment Information Service suggests.
The survey of 10,000 people between 15 to 29 conducted from 2007 to 2012 shows that the proportion of jobless young people who give up searching for work rose from 75.9 percent in 2009 to 82.3 percent in 2011.
People who have not looked for work for a month are considered to have given up. Four out of 10 such people look after household chores or raise children, according to the survey, which led the service to conclude that the responsibility of raising children is preventing mainly young women from carrying on looking for work.
There is still a difference between high-school graduates and university graduates in getting jobs, but the gap is shrinking. Among unemployed university graduates, 79.3 percent had given up looking for work, compared to 86.6 percent of jobless high-school graduates.
Some 18.4 percent of university students said they took time off from school. The average time university students took off from school rose steadily from 11.8 months to 13.8 months in 2011.
While the proportion of university students taking time off to acquire professional licenses, prepare for job interviews, study abroad, switch schools or retake university entrance exams decreased, the number of students who took time off to earn money for tuition and living expenses increased. This shows that more students take leaves of absence due to financial difficulties.