South Korean job-creation programme favours older workers

Younger jobseekers are finding it harder to find openings with the government’s job creation programme.
By: | December 22, 2020

The job creation programme has increased the number of menial jobs, with most of these going to older workers. Consequently, younger workers are finding it more difficult to land a job, especially amid a pandemic environment.  

The number of workers aged 60 and above rose by 372,000 in November from that in the same month last year. It has been increasing since March this year, said Statistics Korea. 

Eight out of 10 or 740,000 jobs created by the government this year went to older workers, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor. Another 785,000 jobs are expected to be taken up by the elderly next year, said Chosunilbo. 

“The government must work on ways to improve the overall job market instead of simply increasing the kind of menial sinecures that are most suitable for the elderly,” said Prof Kim Tae-ki of Dankook University. 

Delivering a speech on next year’s budget spending scheme at the National Assembly, President Moon Jae-in had earlier said the government will offer 1.03 million jobs directly to the elderly, those with disabilities and other vulnerable people.  

READ: South Korean employment impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

He also said: “Providing small and medium-sized businesses and self-employed people with support is especially urgent”, pointing out that they have suffered the biggest blow from the worsened COVID-19 situation and stricter virus control measures. 

Moon’s remarks came as South Korea’s fight against the coronavirus over nearly a year shows no signs of ending. It is being confronted with a third wave of large-scale virus outbreaks nationwide.