SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans feel economic conditions have deteriorated since 2014 despite steady gross domestic product (GDP) growth, mainly due to the rising unemployment rate among young people and dropping factory operation rate, a report showed Monday.
The findings published by the Bank of Korea (BOK) created a new index measuring economic players' sentiment on real economic growth based on the relative differences of five key economic statistics.
The index is calculated by the disparity in production among industrial sectors, factory operation rates between small and large firms and the income difference among workers in different sectors.
It also includes the inflation gap between living costs and consumer prices and the difference between the jobless rate of young people and the entire population.
The report said South Korea has pulled off solid GDP growth of around 3 percent since 2012. Its peak growth rate was 3.3 percent in 2014, while its lowest was 2.7 percent in 2018.
"In recent years, the numbers of economic data, especially GDP growth, have not been bad. But people keep saying that the economy is getting worse," Kim Hyung-suk, one of the co-authors of the BOK report, said.
"Our index that describes people's feelings on economic conditions has been constantly falling over the cited period. This may be caused by the widening difference between the jobless rate of young people and the entire population and that of factory operation rates between small and large firms," he said.
The rising unemployment rate of people aged 15-29 is one of the most pressing social issues confronting Asia's fourth-largest economy as the government here has poured trillions of won into job creation efforts over the years. Such trends come as the country's economy is moving toward a low-growth, less labor-intensive structure.