South Korean government zones in on youth joblessness
To combat the high rate of youth joblessness, the South Korean government has announced plans to pump an additional S$5.1 billion into the economy.
Of that amount, S$3.6 billion will come in the form of wage subsidies for small and medium businesses.
Specifically, job applicants aged 15 to 34 will each receive a wage aid of S$22,000 over three years, while existing staff S$14,000 over five years.
The government hopes to lower staff turnover at small and medium companies by closing the wage gap against big corporations. It found that nearly half of workers in their 20s at small businesses quit within a year due to the wage gap.
Youth unemployment has been a persistent problem for the country, with the national unemployment rate hitting an eight-month high of 9.8% in February 2018.
The proposed budget is expected to create between 180,000 and 220,000 jobs, and is aimed at lowering the unemployment rate to 8.0% or lower.