Young Koreans Give Up Marriage for Jobs | Be Korea-savvy

Young Koreans Give Up Marriage for Jobs


Job seekers take a look at the floor plan of a recruitment event held in Seoul on July 15, 2020. (Yonhap)

Job seekers take a look at the floor plan of a recruitment event held in Seoul on July 15, 2020. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Korea Bizwire)Young South Koreans in their 20s and 30s are giving up on marriage and many other aspects of life due to the difficulty in securing a stable job.

Duo, a local matchmaking agency, conducted a survey of 500 unmarried young adults in their 20s and 30s (250 men, 250 women), 15.6 percent of whom said they had given up on marriage.

Others gave up on buying a home (15 percent), saving money (12.4 percent) and going out on dates (11.6 percent).

The so-called “sampo generation,” a Korean expression pinpointing the generation of people who have given up on relationships, marriage, and children, has been gaining social significance since 2011.

“Sampo” is a newly coined term that means “giving up three things.”

The only difference was that male respondents tended to give up on relationships, while female counterparts chose to give up on marriage.

Among male respondents, marriage (14 percent) and buying a home (14 percent) tied for second on the list of things they had given up.

Among female respondents, on the other hand, buying a home came in second place, followed by getting a satisfactory job. Only 5.6 percent wanted to give up dating.

These results are likely due to the economic and financial instability rampant among 20- and 30-somethings.

Top concerns among young Koreans included career uncertainty (26 percent) and a lack of job opportunities (24.6 percent).

Top concerns among employees included a poor working environment (13.4 percent), difficult job transfers (12 percent) and the fear of getting fired (5.8 percent), indicating a constant exposure to stress even for those who were successful in getting a job.

The largest financial concern among the sampo generation was the exorbitant cost of housing (39.2 percent).

Respondents were particularly struggling to manage savings due to low income (21.2 percent), and pay for living expenses (16.6 percent).

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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