[EDITORIALS]Good jobs, stable jobsAn international organization has diagnosed Korea as no longer able to create stable jobs.
A report by the International Monetary Fund yesterday said the Korean economy has lost the capability to create jobs that pay stable wages over an extended period of time.
The jobless rate does not seem that high at first glance, but the quality of jobs has deteriorated. This country has a large number of non-regular and temporary workers, the report noted.
Those with such “unstable” jobs are the potentially unemployed, and the possibility of losing a job is quite likely to increase the government burden in paying welfare benefits.
Experts have reiterated that a core part of national economic planning should be the creation of stable jobs. Resolving social polarization and fostering the middle class ― issues that have been stressed by the incumbent administration ― should actually start by creating jobs that guarantee secure employment and income.
Private companies have to take the responsibility to create good jobs. Vigorous business performance and investment will bolster their activities. But this administration has been concentrating mainly on income distribution and welfare instead of policies to generate jobs. Suppressing corporations and quelling real estate speculation in southern Seoul have been at the top of the administration’s agenda. It has not been interested in job creation.
As a result, private companies are not investing and have lost their growth momentum. Now they have been pronounced incompetence in job creation by the IMF.
President Roh Moo-hyun seemed to disagree. He said, “The days when economic growth resolves problems of joblessness and welfare are almost gone.”
He then proposed as an alternative to job creation in the private sector ― adding jobs in social services such as child care and home health care. The government will put a whopping 2.4 trillion won ($2.5 billion) into creating 800,000 such jobs next year. But those jobs are good examples of “insecure” jobs as pointed by the fund’s report.
A temporary position that pays less than 1 million won per month cannot be stable at all. Legitimate job creation can only be achieved through an expansion of investment by enterprises and economic growth. Disregarding this reality will make it even harder for the Korean economy to recover its job-creating ability.
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