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[Editorial] Job Creation Needs More Specific Measures

Posted January. 06, 2009 06:28,   


The government has ambitiously pledged to create 290,000 jobs this year, but this exaggerated figure sounds neither convincing nor feasible since it lacks specific measures on how many and in what areas jobs will be generated. Moreover, the figure is reportedly inflated since it adds existing jobs. Busy inflating the figure, the government has even failed to allocate its budget for certain tasks. The inclusion of the number of part-time jobs makes people wonder if the job creation plan was announced for people to earn pocket money, not a living.

In society, a number of youths who graduated from school are wandering about unemployed. More older workers are taking their own lives after being laid off. It is regrettable for the government not to fully recognize the urgent and desperate situation Korea faces today.

The project to clean up the country’s four major rivers aims to create 63,000 jobs, but no concrete measures have been announced. The government says an estimated 80,000 jobs will be generated through a youth intern system, but preparation requires more time. Despite 25,000 youths applying for internships at small and medium-size enterprises, most of the companies say they have little or no work for the interns, let alone the money. The stretched-thin budget earmarked for job creation has been abused and wasted by those who illegally took subsidies. It cannot guarantee the implementation of protective measures for the self-employed, who are on the brink of collapse due to delays in legislation.

The financial turmoil is no better than the Asian financial crisis 11 years ago, but the government is still dragging its feet and failing to properly handle the situation. The recession and financial and public restructuring expected in the first quarter will bring about more layoffs. Urgent consideration is required to create more employment. Under the ambitious title to turn around the situation, however, the government has not shown a strong determination and willingness to create jobs.

In 2004, the then Roh Moo-hyun administration was faced with a rapid increase in youth unemployment. It announced a plan to create two million jobs over five years, only to face humiliation after it failed to keep its promise. The Lee administration could suffer the same fate. If it really wants to plan for an emergency economy, it should make an all-out effort to create more jobs instead of just playing with numbers.