Youth Unemployment Highest Since 2000

      January 14, 2016 11:08

      The government spent W2 trillion last year to create jobs for young people, but the youth unemployment rate still reached 9.2 percent, the highest since 2000 (US$1=W1,205).

      And the quality of available jobs is deteriorating, leading to criticism that without fundamental changes taxpayers' money is being wasted merely to increase the number of jobs.

      Statistics Korea on Wednesday said the unemployment rate for people between 15 and 29 last year increased 0.2 percentage points compared to 2014.

      Until 1999, people were classified as unemployed if they had looked for a job within the past week, but since 2000 the standard changed to include those who had been looking for work for the last month.

      The employment rate, meanwhile, stood at 40.7 percent in 2014 and rose to 41.5 percent last year. But the slight rise seems due to an increase in the number of people trying to find even temporary jobs.

      An official at the Ministry of Employment and Labor claimed things are not as bad as they look. "Young people who had given up looking for work started searching for jobs again, and the youth unemployment rate has fallen from more than 10 percent in the first half of last year to less than nine percent now, which is not too discouraging," he said.

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