Long-Term Unemployment on the Rise

  • By Kim Shin-young

    July 27, 2021 08:45

    The coronavirus pandemic is causing an increase in long-term unemployment. According to the Bank of Korea, the pandemic has crimped hiring while automation also threatens jobs.

    The BOK found that the number of short-term unemployed people who had been out of work for less than three months declined 15.5 percent in June but the ranks of the long-term jobless swelled by 26.4 percent.

    Long periods of unemployment could force people to stop looking for work altogether and sap the economy. The proportion of unemployed people who stopped looking for work stood at 11.9 percent among the short-term jobless and 21.1 percent among the long-term jobless.

    People place their orders in a fast food restaurant in Seoul on July 13. /Newsis

    More jobs were lost in sectors that saw increasing automation. Employment in high-risk businesses with a 70 percent or higher chance of automation dwindled 2.5 percent since 2017.

    In fast-food restaurants, where digital kiosks are being increasingly used to accept orders, the number of workers fell 10.8 percent. The BOK does not expect the situation to be reversed.

    In contrast, in sectors that are unlikely to embrace automation jobs increased 2.8 percent.

    The BOK said the government needs to come up with measures to ensure a smooth transfer of jobs from industries at risk of automation to other fields.

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