February 21, 2022 12:19
The employment rate of graduates with first or higher degrees has risen in the coronavirus pandemic while falling among people with only a high-school diploma or lower.
The employment market has recovered chiefly in industries with a high proportion of workers with higher education such as IT, finance and insurance, and science and technology.
According to Statistics Korea on Sunday, 1.34 million university graduates found jobs last month, up 589,000 from January 2020, before the pandemic.
That increased their employment rate by 0.4 percentage points over the period to 75.7 percent, returning to pre-COVID levels. But among high school graduates or those with less education it is still lower than before the pandemic.
New employees with primary education dwindled by 212,000 in January compared to two years earlier, while the number among middle school leavers fell by 157,000, and among high school graduates by 67,000.
That brought the employment down 2.4 percentage points to 27.2 percent for those with primary education, 2.5 percentage points to 35.9 percent for middle school graduates and 1.2 percentage points to 60 percent for high school graduates.
Kim Ji-yeon of the Korea Development Institute said, "The IT and financial industries, where many professionals with higher education are working, haven't suffered much from the pandemic and even benefited from the work-at-home culture and digitalization of business."
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