Youth Employment Plummets Below 40%

Employment among young Koreans has plunged below 40 percent for the first time.

The government allocated a W11 trillion (US$1=W1,063) supplementary budget to creating jobs, but the results have been lackluster. Employment overall for people aged 15 to 64 rose a mere 0.2 percent to 64.4 percent last year.

The Park Geun-hye administration hopes to reach an employment target of 70 percent by 2017, but the likelihood is slipping.

Statistics Korea on Wednesday said employment for workers aged 15-29 fell 0.7 percentage points to 39.7 percent. This is the first time since 1982 that youth employment dropped below 40 percent.

Experts say even the 0.2-point rise in overall employment was mainly people in their 50s and 60s reentering the workforce to make money after retirement.

Last year, 254,000 people in their 50s and 181,000 people in their 60s found jobs, but 43,000 people in their 20s and 21,000 in their 30s lost their jobs.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 16, 2014 11:51 KST