South Korea To Create 200,000 Jobs by 2017

luvsmiling, July 27, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

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 Monday. 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.

The private sector promised its support and cooperation for the creation of new jobs for the youth in a joint declaration, signed by the finance ministry and six leading business organizations, including the largest, the Federation of Korean Industries.

"The joint measures announced by the government today seek to encourage the public sector to spearhead job creation while providing active financial and tax support for job creation in the private sector," Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said in a meeting with heads of the six business organizations.

"We make a promise to the people that the government and the business sector will together implement the above mentioned measures to create 200,000 new job opportunities for the youth by 2017," said Choi, who is also the vice prime minister for economic affairs. "We hope today's promise will help remove problems now facing our young people while also providing hope to our future generations."


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