More young people studying on their own to land job
The number of people studying for jobs in May hit 804,000, a record for the statistic, which has been compiled since 2006.
Statistics Korea includes individuals aged 15 to 29 who take a course or study on their own to get a certain type of job, like a civil service post, in this category.
The May figure is up 12.6 percent from the same month a year ago.
While studying for jobs, they are considered economically inactive as they are not actively seeking employment and filing job applications. These people are not included in the unemployment figure as that only counts people actively seeking jobs.
As of May, those studying for jobs were 17 percent of all economically inactive people aged between 15 and 29, which is a 1.7 percentage-point increase compared to the same period a year ago.
“Due to the social distancing this year, it has been tough to look for a job,” said Chung Dong-wook, a statistics agency’s director on employment data. “As such, there's an increase in the number of people studying for jobs or people taking breaks.”
Among those studying for jobs, 28.3 percent were studying for a government exam, while 24.7 percent were studying for jobs in the private sector, which would include preparing for English exams or learning computer skills.
The study has found that it took an average of 10 months for those graduating from schools to land their first job. It took longer for high school graduates compared to college graduates.
On average, high school graduates searched for a year and 2.8 months, while college graduates landed their jobs in 7.2 months. Only half (54.7 percent) of the young people were hired as regular employees, while the rest were hired under contract.
More than half received less than 2 million won ($1,670) a month in their first job. Those receiving between 1.5 and 2 million won monthly were 35 percent of the total, while 23.7 percent earned 1 to 1.5 million.
Young people paid 2 to 3 million won accounted for 20.5 percent of the total.
On average, the young people worked at their first job for 1 year and 5.5 months.
As of May, the percentage of the population between 15 and 29 fell 1.5 percent on year to 8.93 million.
Among people in this age group, 47 percent are economically active, a 1.4 percentage point drop on year. The employment rate for this group fell 1.4 percentage points to 42.4 percent.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]