SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — A record number of South Koreans in their 20s gave up their search for work in November amid a severe job crunch, government data showed Thursday.
A total of 284,000 South Korean 20-somethings were outside the labor force and did nothing to look for jobs last month, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The tally was up 48,500 from a year earlier and marked the highest-ever level for November.
The number of 20-somethings giving up looking for work had been on the rise over the past several months amid difficulties finding jobs in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
“Hit hard by the job crunch, people in their 20s are just giving up their search for jobs,” a Statistics Korea official said. “The overall situation for youth employment is not good.”
South Korea’s unemployment rate for young people aged 15-29 came to 9.2 percent last month, compared with 8.2 percent a year earlier.
The country’s headline jobless rate stood at 3.2 percent last month, up 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, as the construction sector hired fewer temporary workers amid relatively cold weather.
Meanwhile, 1.72 million South Koreans outside the labor force had no jobs in November, up 219,000 from a year ago and the highest tally for November since 2002, when the agency started to compile related data.