Many Young Graduates Work Less Than 36 Hours a Week

      July 04, 2023 11:56

      Almost half a million young graduates work less than 36 hours a week, according to Statistics Korea.
      The 489,000 people in the category account for 12 percent of all employed young people between 19 and 34. By law an employee who works more than 36 hours a week is considered a full-time worker, but many young people work part-time first on the way to finding full-time employment in their chosen professions.
      That means they barely make enough to support themselves. A worker earning minimum wage makes around W346,000 a week or less than W1.4 million a month, which is lower than the W1.61 million the government estimates as the average monthly living cost for a person living alone (US$1=W1,308).
      The main reason is that decent full-time jobs are simply not available. In May, there were 214,000 jobs available starting in less than a month, but 386,000 young people said in a survey that they were taking a break for no pressing reason. In other words, young people want jobs that allow them to become financially independent, but employers are looking for cheap labor.
      Jobseekers look around a job fair at COEX in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis
      More than half of young people live with their parents because they cannot afford to move out. According to a government survey in March, 57.5 percent of young people live with their parents and 67.7 percent of those have no intention of moving out any time soon. Most cited the need to save living costs.
      Some 55 percent said they will consider moving out once they save up enough money or find a full-time job.
      The tough job market is driving young people to become recluses. Last year, 2.4 percent of young Koreans refused to come out of their rooms, and one-third of them blamed difficulties finding a job as the biggest reason for their self-imposed isolation.
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