Unemployment rate in Seoul soars
It is getting harder and harder to get a job, with Seoul’s jobless rate rising by 20 percent over the past five years.
A study by the Seoul Institute showed Monday the number of unemployed citizens was 243,000 in the first half of this year, about 20 percent up from 207,000 in 2007 before the global financial crisis engulfed Korea.
This year’s figure is higher than the five-year average of 228,000 people.
Jobless people refer to those aged 15 or over who have been actively searching for a job with the intention and ability to work.
“We see the shortage of jobs has aggravated, with companies seeking restructuring or other cost-saving measures in this extended economic slowdown,” a researcher of the institute said.
The study also showed more women have become victims of the financial crisis than men — among this year’s total of unemployed people, 61 percent were men and 39 percent were women, while in 2007, 65 percent of the jobless were male and 35 percent were female.
“The average ratio between men and women for the last five years is about 64 percent and 36 percent, respectively, meaning women’s jobless situation has gotten more serious than men’s,” the researcher said.
“It is partly because women who had to quit their jobs for childcare or household chores couldn’t return to work. We need more positions for such women,” he said.
The youth unemployment rate has also increased, according to the report. For the first half of this year, 8.2 percent of the economically active population aged between 15 and 29 didn’t have employment.
The figure is higher than 7.5 percent in 2007, and the 8.1 percent average for the last five years.
Seoul’s average youth unemployment rate was also higher than the country’s average of 7.7 percent.
“The study didn’t include young people who had given up looking for employment, so the actual number of young jobless may be larger. More effective measures are needed to solve the problem, especially in Seoul which has a higher than nationwide average rate,” the researcher said.