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Employees in 60s outnumber workers in their 20s in Q2

All News 14:17 July 20, 2016

SEJONG, July 20 (Yonhap) -- The number of employees in their 60s and older surpassed that of 20-somethings in the second quarter as a lingering economic slowdown has undermined the job market for young job seekers in South Korea, government data showed Wednesday.

A total of 3.98 million people aged 60 and over were employed in the April-June period, while those in their 20s reached 3.79 million, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The number of employees in the two age groups has fluctuated since the second quarter of 2014 when senior employees outnumbered young workers for the first time.

In the first quarter of 2016, the older group saw their employment reach 3.44 million, slightly fewer than the younger circle's 3.66 million.

The statistics agency said the increase in the number of senior employees is partly because of a demographic change in the country which has been struggling with a low birth rate and a rapidly aging population.

The number of those in their 60s and over rose by 470,000 to 9.8 million in the second quarter, while those in their 20s gained 52,900 to 6.42 million.

A slowdown in the South Korean economy also contributed to the sharp increase in senior employment as companies have reduced recruitment of young people such as college graduates.

Separate industry data released in April showed that 16 out of the country's top 30 business groups have decided to cut down on new hires this year, citing economic uncertainties.

At the same time, older people are increasingly returning to the job market after retirement as they have to support their grownup children who have failed to find work.

brk@yna.co.kr
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