SEJONG, Oct. 4 (Korea Bizwire) – The Q2 economic activity rate (EAR) for Koreans in their twenties reached its highest level in a decade at 65.7 percent after peaking in Q4 2005 at 65.8 percent.
The EAR represents the percentage of the population that constitutes the manpower supply of the labor market, both employed and unemployed. A high EAR often stands for a healthy labor market, with more people willing to work.
However, the Q2 rate for Koreans in their twenties was not the most promising of the indices, as it was driven more by the country’s high youth unemployment rate.
In Q2 2016, the number of working age individuals in their twenties increased by 0.8 percent to 6,421,000 from Q2 2015, and the number of economically active people also increased by 2.9 percent to 4,220,000.
But while the number of those employed increased by 2.4 percent to 3,786,000, the number of unemployed increased nearly threefold, by 7 percent, to 434,000.
The numbers were more dramatic for Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015.
While the number of economically active individuals increased by 2.4 percent to 4,123,000, the number of employed only increased by 1.3 percent (to 3,661,000), whereas the number of unemployed increased by 11.9 percent (to 462,000), despite increasing the EAR.
Experts pointed to both high youth unemployment and a lack of stable, full-time positions available to them.
“The numbers are reflective of an increasing number of Koreans in their twenties unable to find jobs after quitting part-time or contract employment,” said professor Kim Kwang-seok from Hanyang University. “The trend demonstrates, to a certain extent, that many of the jobs available to youth tend to be unstable and in poorer quality.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)