November 16, 2023 13:04
The government will spend nearly W1 trillion to help unemployed young people find jobs (US$1=W1,301). The plan was prompted by a dramatic increase in young people who have given up looking for work and are simply staying at home for no particular reason, which is seen as a massive waste of potential.
Employment increased by 346,000 on-year in October, but the number of people aged 15 to 29 who had a job plunged by 82,000, down for the 12th month in a row. Some 410,000 young Koreans are resting for no particular reason and have fallen out of the employment statistics altogether.
The National Youth Policy Institute surveyed young people who have given up looking for jobs and found that most have previous employment experience and would like to work.
Huh Soo-jin, at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said, "Young people who gave up looking for jobs display different characteristics and require tailored policies."
The Ministry of Employment and Labor will spend W4.4 billion to create a new program next year to help young Koreans adapt to new jobs by offering skills training. State-run and private companies will boost internships from 48,000 this year to 74,000 in 2024 and offer young people a 50-pecent discount on fees for state-administered tests.
Universities' employment centers will offer high school students who do not wish to go to college help in finding work as well as counseling and skills training. The number of universities with such programs will increase from 12 to 50.
The government will also offer tailored counseling for reclusive young people to help them rejoin society and provide W2 million a year in spending money to those who are taking care of sick family members.
The increase in employment, the third in as many months, was led by more women in their 30s and over 60 finding work. Last month, the number of employed women increased by 318,000 from a year ago, accounting for 91.9 percent of total employment growth, while the number of men who found jobs increased by only 28,000.
The increase was particularly high among women in their 30s (up 114,000) and 60s or older (up 189,000).
Kim Ji-yeon at the Korea Development Institute said, "The primary reason behind the increase in employed women between 30 to 34 is that more and more of them postpone marriage." The increase among over-60s is due to the aging society as more helpers are needed in nursing homes.
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