SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul city government said Wednesday it will more than quadruple the number of recipients of its monthly youth employment promotion subsidy and create a new housing rent subsidy for young people next year.
Under the new youth welfare policy announced by Mayor Park Won-soon in a town hall meeting, the number of young job seekers receiving a monthly employment promotion allowance of 500,000 won (US$426) for up to six months will increase from about 7,000 this year to 30,000 next year and 35,000 in 2021 and 2022.
In all, about 100,000 young job seekers in the capital city will be paid the employment promotion subsidy for the next three years, it noted.
The city government expects the expanded benefits will cover almost all young Seoul citizens eligible for the employment promotion subsidy, as 100,000 accounts for 70 percent of city residents aged between 19 and 34, excluding those employed.
In addition, households consisting of only one young person will be given a monthly housing subsidy of 200,000 won for up to 10 months under the municipal government’s new youth support policy.
A total of 45,000 young people — 5,000 in 2020 and 20,000 in 2021 and 2022 — will receive the youth housing subsidy for the next three years.
The Seoul city government plans to spend 430 billion won over the next three years on the youth employment promotion and housing subsidies.
The massive cash expenditure for young people is expected to trigger a controversy over populism by the liberal mayor.
But municipal officials said the new youth subsidy programs are aimed at eliminating inequalities faced by young citizens in employment and housing.
They explained that Seoul citizens aged from 19 to 39, who are jobless over two years after school graduation and belong to households earning less than 150 percent of the city’s median income level, will all be eligible for the youth employment promotion subsidy.
The youth housing subsidy will be paid to households of single persons aged between 19 and 39 who earn less than 120 percent of the median income.
The Seoul government launched the youth employment promotion subsidy program in 2016.
Last year, nearly half of 3,151 recipients of the youth employment subsidy succeeded in landing a job, according to a poll by the city government.