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Employment rate among 20-somethings falls in 29 months

Posted August. 11, 2023 07:53,   

Updated August. 11, 2023 07:53


The employment rate of job seekers in South Korea in their 20s, which had been showing signs of recovery after the aftermath of COVID-19 died down, declined for the first time in 29 months. Analysis suggests that the lack of opportunities, such as internships for young individuals to experience work during the Covid-19 period, is leading to a downturn in employment for those in their 20s.

According to the data released by Statistics Korea on Thursday, the employment rate for people in their 20s last month was 61.4%, down by a 0.1 percentage point from a year ago. This marks the first time that the employment rate for those aged 20 to 29 has declined since February 2021 (minus 1.7 percentage points). The employment rate for the specific age bracket had been decreasing every month from February 2020 to February 2021 due to the freezing of the labor market caused by the spread of COVID-19. Still, the rate saw an increase of 4.9 percentage points in January last year.

Particularly noticeable is the employment slowdown among those in their early 20s. Last month, the employment rate for individuals aged 20 to 24 was 46.9%, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from a year ago. This contrasts with a 0.8 percentage point increase in the employment rate for those aged 25 to 29. The labor force participation rate for individuals in their early 20s has been declining for six consecutive months compared to a year ago. This is attributed to an increase in the economically inactive population, including those who are simply not seeking employment, while the economically active population, engaged in work or job-seeking activities, is decreasing.

An official from Statistics Korea said, "The labor force participation rate has dropped due to an increase in the share of students aged 20 to 24 who have not yet graduated due to COVID-19-related interruptions. Furthermore, these individuals are facing difficulties in job seeking as they were deprived of the opportunity for job experiences during the pandemic period."