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(EDITORIAL from Korea Times on Sept. 17)

Editorials from Korean Dailies 07:28 September 17, 2018

Failing job policy

The latest data by Statistics Korea showed the government is failing miserably in the job front.

The number of unemployed people hit 1.13 million in August. Only 26.9 million people were employed in August, up just 3,000 from the same month last year. It is the smallest job increase since January 2010. The unemployment rate for young adults ― aged between 15 and 29 ― stood at 10 percent last month, up 0.6 percent from 2017. The number of unemployed people and the youth unemployment were the highest since 1999.

Many people feel the job situation is getting only worse despite President Moon Jae-in's pledge to become the "jobs president." To create more quality jobs, the government has been implementing an extra budget of 3.9 trillion won ($3.69 billion) since May. But this has not made much difference in the job market and jobseekers across generations are feeling that things are harder than they were during the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago.

Despite the desperate situation, the Moon administration and the ruling party do not seem to sympathize with the people's hardships. Some of the remarks made by key officials give the impression that their perceptions of the grave job crisis are far from reality.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said the nation was going through "growing pains" accompanied by economic shifts during a press conference last week. Lee Hae-chan, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), said it will take more time for the number of quality jobs to increase through restructuring and for small businesses to adjust to the changes under the Moon administration.

Such idle remarks do little to assuage the despair of jobseekers and the self-employed who are some of the biggest victims of the Moon administration's ineffective job policy.
(END)

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