Only 20% of New Jobs Go to Young People

  • By Jung Seok-woo

    December 08, 2021 13:20

    Only 20 percent of new jobs created last year were taken by people under 40, while the vast bulk went to the over-50s.

    The reason was a big government job-creation project for the elderly, mostly in menial positions, which critics say was a blatant attempt to massage employment figures.

    According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, 706,000 jobs were created last year, bringing the total to 24.73 million jobs. But only 139,000 or 19.7 percent were taken by the under-40s.

    That brought the total number of employed people under 40 to 6.11 million, up just 98,000 from the previous year. But the number of jobs for 30-somethings increased a mere 57,000 and jobs for under-20s actually shrank by about 16,000.

    The rest or some 80 percent were taken by people over 50 -- 182,000 by 50-somethings and 385,000 by the over-60s.

    Kim Kwang-suk of the Institute for Korean Economy and Industry said, "Young people took the fall due to fewer opportunities for part-time or contract jobs in the wake of the minimum wage increase and automation as well as due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    More over-60s are seeking jobs to make ends meet, while more young people are jobless or have given up altogether.

    According to estimates by the Hyundai Research Institute, there were some 435,900 NEETs (not in employment, education or training) in the country last year, up 24.2 percent from 2019. 

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