[EDITORIALS]Crisis of youth joblessnessYouth unemployment has become serious. With the economy threatened by recession, job competition among the young is fiercer than ever. According to the National Statistical Office, 8 percent of Koreans in their 20s were jobless between January and March. About 370,000 unemployed people were in their 20s, nearly half of all those unemployed. Including temporary workers and those who have given up looking for jobs, one out of 10 young men in their 20s is unemployed.
The hardship of our youngsters is more than the frustrations of individuals. It is also an enormous waste of national assets and a cause of social instability. We are concerned that youth unemployment may become a fixed phenomenon, due to the uncertainties in our economy and the difficulties of creating new jobs. Because more companies are reducing their work forces due to stagnation, youth unemployment will likely grow worse.
Youth unemployment is high because college admission quotas were expanded to meet overheated education desires, and universities failed to foster the competitive manpower demanded by the labor market. Youngsters are also looking for easy jobs. Amid the serious job crisis, the so-called “3D” industries ― dirty, dangerous and difficult ― suffer from a labor shortage and are turning to foreign workers. Something is definitely wrong.
To alleviate youth unemployment, fostering the growth potential of our economy and providing more jobs are necessary. To this end, the government should promote the free market and encourage investment to revive our economy. Implementing consistent policies and eliminating uncertainties are urgent tasks.
Companies should also invest in their future by hiring more youngsters, instead of seeking immediate savings. Now is the perfect chance to hire the talented with less competition. Colleges should also improve their curricula to provide their students with knowledge and skills desired by business. Youth unemployment is no longer a passing phase of stagnation.