More unemployed and middle-aged South Koreans start small businesses

To make ends meet, more jobless middle-aged people have turned entrepreneurial and started their own small businesses.
By: | December 28, 2020
Topics: Job Cuts | News | South Korea

Last year, more than 50% of the people between 40 and 64 who started small businesses had been jobless before. 

Only 12.76 million or 64% of the 19.98 million people aged between 40 and 64 were employed as of November 1st last year, according to Statistics Korea. 

This is in contrast to the situation a year earlier when 1.35 million joined the workforce, but 1.38 million lost their jobs. The statistics also revealed a whopping 29.2% or 5.84 million of them have been out of a job for two years or more. 

Many of them started their own businesses instead. Of the 493,000 people who opened shops last year, more than half or 54.5% had been jobless. 

Some 56.3% were also in debt to banks, up 0.2 percentage points on-year. One in every three or 32.8% had debts of more than 100 million won (US$90,604), said Chosunibo. 

According to Statistics Korea, in November this year, the number of unemployed persons totaled 967,000 people, an increase of 101,000 persons or 11.7% year-on-year. 

The unemployment rate was 3.4%, up 0.3 percentage points year-on-year. 

The economically inactive population totaled 16.7 million people, increasing 431,000 persons or 2.7% year-on-year. 

The economically active population stood at 28.2 million, a decrease of 172,000 persons or 0.6 percentage points year-on-year. 

READ: South Korea focuses on job creation for 2021

The number of employed persons totaled 27.2 million, down by 273,000 persons or 1.0 percentage points year-on-year. 

The employment to population ratio recorded 60.7%, falling 1.0% percentage points year-on-year.