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Young People Preferring Money Over Love amid Downturn

Posted September. 04, 2009 08:42,   


Ten reporters of The Dong-A Ilbo covering the year after the global economic crisis talked to young adults in their 20s feeling the pinch of the economic downturn in 13 countries over the past month.

The main problem has been youth unemployment that has soared in a year. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, said yesterday that unemployment among those age 25 or younger from 27 EU countries rose to 19.8 percent last month, up from 15.4 percent a year ago.

A tough employment market has made the traditional humble life difficult, including getting a job after college graduation, marrying, having a baby, and buying a house.

With youth unemployment worsening, more people remain financially dependent on their parents even after receiving bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Young people not just in developed economies such as Japan, the U.K. and Spain but also in developing countries including China and India are still relying on their parents.

As life gets tougher, young people who preferred romance are beginning to prioritize money over love. One coldly broke up with their partner after he lost his job, saying, “I cannot bear to try to make a living alone in this difficult time.”

Those sensing that they could be fired anytime by their employers are seeking more stable jobs. In India, 400,000 people have applied for hundreds of government slots.

Parents are feeling sorry for more young souls who are anguishing over their frustrated dream. Many young elites have given up their dreams of studying abroad and choosing to work anywhere they are accepted.

One person said, “We’re young and the rest of our lives is too long to stay frustrated and gloomy. We won’t give up hope.”