CJ vows to hire 14,000 young people

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CJ vows to hire 14,000 young people

CJ Group will hire 14,000 entry-level workers as regular staff through 2017, the company announced Wednesday.

This year alone, the group will recruit 4,000 employees, double the number from the previous year.

The increase is intended to help ease youth unemployment and keep pace with growing service businesses, the company said in a statement.

In 2016, new hires will total 4,500 and then 5,500 in 2017.

In addition to regular staff, the group will hire 16,200 interns.

The retail, entertainment and food conglomerate cited the need for more employees to run movie theaters, cosmetics stores and restaurants.

“Backed by consistent growth in the service sector, we constantly need young, entry-level staff,” said a source at the group.

The group refrained from laying out investment and employment plans at the start of this year because of the absence of Chairman Lee Jay-hyun. Lee was convicted of tax evasion and embezzlement in 2013 and sentenced to jail, although the sentence has been suspended because of his seriously bad health.

With a leadership vacuum, Sohn Kyung-shik has been filling in for the chairman.

The employment plan came just days after the Supreme Court quashed a sentence of three years in jail and a 25.1 billion won ($21.4 million) fine for Lee and sent the case back to the Seoul High Court.

The decision boosted the possibility that Lee’s punishment will be lighter after the retrial.

The hiring decision appears tobe affected by the current administration’s drive to address youth

President Park Geun-hye met 17 heads of Korean conglomerates, including Sohn, at the Blue House in July and urged them to expand positions for young people and help boost the sagging economy.

Following the meeting, leading conglomerates including Samsung and Hyundai Motor Group unveiled expanded hiring plans and said they would introduce the so-called peak wage system.

The peak wage system is intended to increase the number of hires by trimming the salaries of older workers as they near retirement.

The government advocates the
system as a way to expand employment, though critics noted that the scheme could hurt the quality of

CJ also hinted that it could adopt the peak wage system.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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