Long-Term Unemployment Soars

  • By Kim Tae-geun

    November 11, 2019 08:46

    The number of people who have been unemployed for more than three months has increased steadily over the last six years, according to a study.

    The Bank of Korea on Tuesday said long-term unemployed people, who accounted for 36.1 percent or 300,000 of all unemployed people in 2013, multiplied to reach 45.9 percent or 500,000 last year.

    The BOK tallied the number of newly unemployed people, both long and short-term, from January 2006 to September this year and analyzed the probability that they gained employment.

    Long-term unemployment refers only to people who have been looking for work for more than three months but does not cover those who have given up.

    The BOK concluded that the chances of finding work again for those who have been unemployed for a long time are dwindling.

    "The chances of long-term unemployed people finding work stands at an average of 33.4 percent, compared to 53 percent for short-term unemployed people. This means that once a person falls into the long-term unemployment trap, it becomes difficult to break free."

    According to the central bank, an average of 245,000 people newly joined the long-term jobless group every month since 2006, compared to 115,000 in the short-term group.

    It also found that gender, age or academic background do not have much bearing on whether people become long-term unemployed.

    Rather, the main factor is whether they quit their last job voluntarily or involuntarily. "If a person is fired, they are more likely to become long-term unemployed," the bank said.

    It added the ranks of the long-term unemployed are also growing because of automation and the aging workforce, and warned that government spending is not enough to deal with the problem.

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