June 10, 2021 13:53
The Ministry of Employment and Labor analyzed the government's W33 trillion job-creation projects and found that spending should be cut and other improvements are needed in 30 percent of them (US$1=W1,114). President Moon Jae-in has been patting himself on the back repeatedly, claiming that the employment situation "is improving," but even his own government has had to admit that they were a waste of taxpayers' money.
The truth is that not just 30 percent but all of the projects have been a total disaster. Over the five years of the Moon administration, the government will have poured W120 trillion into creating jobs. But all 4.5 million of them are public-sector positions, most of them part-time and for senior citizens working no more than two or three hours a day for just W200,000 to W300,000 a month. The government has spent W2-3 trillion a year to pay senior citizens to do unnecessary work like picking up plastic bags, cleaning bird droppings and switching off lights in public facilities. It also pressured provincial governments and public agencies to create such worthless jobs and claimed that employment conditions were improving.
But the actual job market is still in horrible shape. In the real world, 69,000 people in their 30s and 6,000 in their 40s lost their jobs, while 45,000 more people over 60 found only the pointless jobs the government created for them. It is true that 110,000 more jobs were created for people in their 20s, but most of them were temporary dead-end positions like food delivery or construction work. The real unemployment rate among young people soared to 24.3 percent, while the quality of jobs available to them remains poor. In fact, it was part-time positions involving less than 17 hours of work that increased by 350,000 compared to a year ago, while 2 million full-time jobs were lost since 2017.
But Moon still wants to pump more taxpayers' money into these futile projects. He frittered away the initial W3 trillion set aside for that purpose and now wants another W2 trillion to create 1.32 million public-sector jobs. The number of jobs paid by taxes has doubled from 650,000 in 2017, when Moon took office. The least he can do now is to stop throwing good money after bad.
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