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PM pledges constant efforts to tackle low birthrate, promote work-family balance

All Headlines 12:16 August 25, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Thursday pledged "constant efforts" to tackle the low birthrate and promote a work-family balance, outlining the government's comprehensive package of programs to back the efforts.

During the government's policy coordination meeting, Hwang stressed that the government would strive harder to resolve "structural problems" that have caused the nation's birthrate to fall, such as unemployment, high education costs and housing-related issues.

The country's fertility rate has hovered around 1.2 percent since it dropped to a record low of 1.08 in 2005.

"(Aside from the government efforts) I urge people from all walks of life to join the efforts to reverse our country's low birthrate," Hwang said.

The prime minister added that the government plans to offer financial assistance for couples with fertility problems, strengthen efforts to curtail working hours for pregnant workers and support fathers seeking childcare leave.

To boost the birth rate and help workers strike a balance between work and family, the government has pursued a series of programs, including a flextime system, a tailored childcare program and an after-school education scheme.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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