Korea's Youth Unemployment Soars While OECD's Shrinks

  • By Shin Eun-jin

    December 10, 2019 11:40

    Unemployment among young people aged 15 to 29 in the OECD shrank 13.9 percent on average over last decade, but in Korea it soared 28.3 percent even though the young population dwindled.

    The Korea Economic Research Institute on Monday said analysis of OECD employment data shows that the average youth unemployment rate among members of the rich-countries club declined 1.3 percentage points from 2008 to 2018, but Korea saw a 2.4 percentage point increase.

    That led to Korea's employment ranking falling from 11th out of 36 member states in 2008 to 22nd last year. 


    Korea's youth population shrank 7.3 percent from 9.87 million in 2008 to 9.15 million last year. Over the same period, the OECD's average youth population also fell, but only 1.6 percent. Yet the number of unemployed youth in Korea grew 28.3 percent from 318,000 to 408,000.

    Five other OECD member countries saw youth unemployment rise -- Finland, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey -- but Korea suffered the highest increase.

    In Israel and the U.S., which are experiencing a boom in startups due to the fourth industrial revolution, youth unemployment fell a whopping 34.3 percent and 33.5 percent respectively although their population increased 13.7 percent and 4.6 percent over the last decade. 

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