Finding a 1st Job Takes Longer and Longer

      July 24, 2018 12:40

      It takes longer for young people to find their first job after graduating from high schools or universities this year.

      According to Statistics Korea, it took an average of 10.7 months for young people between 15 and 29 to find their first job since they left school this year. This is the longest since the survey began in 2007 and 1.2 months longer than it took in 2010.

      It took longer for those with a lower educational background to find their first job. While university graduates searched for an average of 7.7 months, those with only a high-school diploma took 16 months.

      Many more university students are taking leave of absence and delaying graduation to buy more time to find a decent job. Out of 2.93 million graduates of vocational colleges and universities, 1.3 million or 44.4 percent had taken a leave, 1.3 percentage points higher than last year's figure and the same as the record set in 2016.

      Overall it took four years and 2.7 months for university students to graduate, the longest ever. But after all that effort they worked for an average of just one year and 5.9 months in their first job.

      The outlook is getting dimmer. In May, when the survey took place, 460,000 young people were unemployed, and youth unemployment was a record 10.5 percent.

      An official at Statistics Korea said, "With the job market getting worse, more students are delaying graduation and are struggling to get a job. Because they believe that a second chance will be harder, they now spend longer getting a decent first job."

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