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Is Creating 400,000 New Jobs Really Possible?

Posted April. 14, 2005 23:16,   


With new job opportunities created as of February 2004 only reaching 25 percent of those created last year, the government’s goal of creating 400,000 new jobs is highly unlikely to be achieved.

According to materials released by Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Korea National Statistical Office last Monday, the number of job seekers who have finally landed jobs increased by 142,000 in January and by 80,000 in February. The monthly increase on average is only 111,000.

This figure is just 25.2 percent of that of last year, when 441,000 new jobs were created on average in January and February, which is far below the pace necessary to reach the government’s goal of creating 400,000 new jobs within this year. In order to achieve this goal, the number of new jobs per month should be near 400,000 on average.

Sorted by age, those under age 40 even show a decrease in the number compared to last year: those aged 15-25 showed a reduction of 25,000, those aged 20-29 showed a reduction of 67,500, and those aged 30-39 showed a decrease of 94,000 jobs.

However, older and middle-aged people’s employment has increased; those aged 40-49 showed an increase of 52,000, those aged 50-59 showed an increase of 174,000, and those above the age of 60 with an increase of 71,500. This means that non-regular or temporary employments are more dominant than regular employment now, which also reflects the deterioration of job quality.

“Domestic demand, which plays a critical role in fostering new employment, has not showed signs of recovery yet, and the increase in new jobs during the two months of last year was exceptionally outstanding, which makes the increase of this year looks small,” said a source from Ministry of Finance and Economy.

Byong-Ki Lee eye@donga.com