January 17, 2015 08:22
A growing number of people in their 20s are setting up their own businesses as the job market remains tough for young people.
The latest figures show 56,000 more people in their 20s found work last year, the first growth since 2002. But experts say the increase partly stems from a growing number of young people either setting up their own business or joining venture companies.
Last year, the number of self-employed workers grew by 1,000, but the number of self-employed people in their 30s, 40s and 50s fell by 2,000, 33,000 and 8,000. Instead, there were 4,000 more self-employed people in their 20s and 40, 000 more in their 60s.
Hwang Soo-kyung of the Korea Development Institute said, "Senior citizens who start their own businesses usually open coffee shops or small restaurants, but young people are more creative and explore new business ideas."
Lee Hee-woo of IDG Ventures Korea said, "As young jobseekers see big conglomerates mercilessly laying off staff, more and more university graduates are opting to start their own business. The trend is catching on because universities and other organizations now offer better support for start-ups."
Still, three out of every 10 young people who find work have temporary or part-time jobs, accounting 761,000 people between 15 and 29 who landed their first jobs last year or 19.5 percent.
And another 477,000 young people entered the job market doing only part-time work.
Yoo Kyung-jun at KDI said, "The venture business boom among young Koreans is a welcome trend, but that isn’t enough to solve the job shortage. What's needed is a fair job environment that does not discriminate between regular and contract employees."
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