SEOUL, March 4 (Korea Bizwire) — In the midst of one of the worst unemployment crises ever, and with a rapidly growing number of the new coronavirus cases, the situation for job seekers is becoming more and more dire.
As economic uncertainty mounts, there are many cases where major companies have postponed or canceled their plans for public recruitment, raising concerns that the employment door may be closing further.
Amid this difficult and unfavorable situation for job seekers, a series of public libraries nationwide have closed. Job seekers are left alone to study and prepare for certificate exams at home.
A 27-year-old job seeker, identified only by his surname Kim, visited a city library in Incheon to study, but was forced to return to his home after discovering that the library was temporarily closed.
In Incheon, 59 public libraries in the city were closed as of Tuesday. “I am afraid that studying at home will just make me more tense and I will not be able to concentrate,” Kim confessed.
Moreover, Cho, 27-year-old, who recently applied for a job at an auto parts company, received a notice from the company that it would temporarily postpone his second interview.
“I am still preparing for the interview because I do not know when it will be held, but it is true that I am losing focus,” Cho said. “Looking at the current situation, I am afraid that the recruitment process will be canceled all together.”
The feeling of suffocation among job seekers was clearly reflected in a recent survey.
According to a survey of 448 job seekers conducted by job portal Incruit, 61 percent of the respondents said they felt uneasy about finding a job in the first half of the year in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The reasons for the instability were delays in hiring, accounting for 25.8 percent, the suspension of recruitment, accounting for 24.2 percent, and a reduced number of available positions, accounting for 21.7 percent.
With more so-called ‘home study’ people studying at home without going out, more and more people are turning to technology for solutions, such as the growing popularity of ‘cam study’.
Cam study refers to a group that studies together in real-time on-line using a webcam or mobile phone app.
“We have decided to have other study sessions online for the time being,” said a job seeker. “We’re trying to somehow maintain the habit of studying.”
On the other hand, some people gave up job interviews due to the fear of the coronavirus.
According to a survey conducted by JobKorea, a job search portal operator, of 1,897 job seekers who had passed the application review process, 18.8 percent said they had not attended an interview due to concerns about COVID-19.
The gender ratio of those who did not go to interview was similar, with 19.4 percent of women and 18.3 percent of men responding as such.
However, it differed by type of business.
Among applicants for small- and medium-sized enterprises, 26.1 percent decided to skip interviews, followed by foreign companies at 16.1 percent and large companies at 10.2 percent.
On the other hand, only 8.2 percent of applicants for state-run and public organizations missed interviews.
When asked if they had a strategy to cope with the coronavirus, 72 percent of the respondents said they did not.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)