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South Korea to create 200,000 new jobs for youth by 2017

Staff writer ▼ | July 27, 2015
South Korea plans to create 200,000 new jobs for the youth by 2017 while also working to permanently increase employment opportunities for young adults, the government said.
South Korea young workers
Employment   To increase employment opportunities for young adults
The country's jobless rate for those aged between 15 and 29 reached 10.2 percent at the end of June, marking an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the previous month while the country's overall unemployment rate inched up from 3.8 percent to 3.9 percent over the cited period.

The youth unemployment rate has nowhere to go but up if left untackled, especially when the maximum retirement age for government and private workers is set to be extended by two years to 60 next year, the finance ministry said in a press release.

Under its two-track efforts, the government, together with private firms, will work to create 200,000 new jobs by 2017 as a short-term measure to remove what is often referred to as a wall facing young, first-time job seekers.

This will include 75,000 full-time jobs from the public and private sectors while the other 125,000 will mostly consist of new internships from private companies.

Still, the government will seek to encourage private companies to hire more full-time workers, offering a tax break of up to 2 million won (US$1,705) for each intern or a part-time employee turned into a full-time worker, according to the ministry.

Also, the government will provide up to 10.8 million won in cash for each new full-time worker employed at companies that expand their overall workforce by introducing a wage peak, a mechanism to create additional job openings for new and young workers by lowering the wages of those nearing retirement in exchange for extending their time on the job.

Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., promised to stick to its employment plan to hire 9,500 workers by the end of the year, which would be slightly more than the largest ever of 9,100 hired last year.

LG Group joined the move by renewing its commitment to hiring 12,000 new workers this year -- almost the same level as that of last year -- despite the toughening global business environment.

Other conglomerates, such as SK Group and Hanwha Group, also expressed their strong support for the government's job creation scheme for the youth.

The finance ministry said the new jobs will help boost the employment rate of those aged between 15 and 29 years by 1.8 percentage points.

However, the latest measures will benefit those aged from 15 to 34 as the government believes the age range for people receiving their first jobs has already risen that high.