South Korean graduates face a job market with less openings

The employment rate of university graduates of the class of 2019 fell, while the employment gap between men and women widened.
By: | January 4, 2021

A Ministry of Education survey showed that the employment rate of people with bachelor or higher degrees dropped to 67.1% from 67.7%. This means 67.1% or 323,038 graduates found jobs in their year of graduation. 

Out of this total number, 291,929 began their careers as salaried workers, 2,853 held jobs overseas, 6,137 started their own businesses, and 18,347 worked as freelancers. 

In terms of disparity between the genders, the employment rate for men was 69.0%, while that for women was 3.8 percentage points lower at 65.2%. On-year, the figures for both genders decreased, with that for men reducing by a smaller margin. 

The average monthly income of those with bachelor degrees last year was 2.42 million won (US$2,200) and for those with higher degrees was almost doubled at 4.46 million won (US$4,000). 
The graduates mostly found jobs in small and mid-sized companies (46%), followed by non-profit organisations (16.8%), major conglomerates (10.9%), mid-sized conglomerates (8.4%), state-run companies (8.2%) and provincial governments (6.1%). 

READ: More South Koreans disheartened with job search

The latest study was conducted among 550,354 graduates who received their degrees and diplomas between August 2018 and February 2019, said Chosunilbo.