World Economy

S. Korea Youth Jobless Rate Rising Fast

S. Korea Youth Jobless Rate Rising FastS. Korea Youth Jobless Rate Rising Fast

South Korea’s youth unemployment has grown by the largest margin among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, data showed Sunday.

As of April, the jobless rate among Koreans aged 15 to 24 stood at 11.2%, a 2.5 percentage point increase from 8.7% recorded in December last year, according to data from the OECD, Yonhap reported.

Out of 21 member countries of the OECD, Korea topped the list with the sharpest growth in youth unemployment, followed by Austria, which reported a 0.3 percentage point increase. The OECD average dropped 0.5 percentage point to 12.1% during the same period.

EU countries saw a 1.4% fall, while the US recorded a 0.6% decrease. Italy saw a dramatic 5.2 percentage point drop in its youth unemployment rate. Ireland and Spain saw declines of 3.9% and 3.5%, respectively.

Meanwhile, separate data from Statistics Korea released Wednesday showed that the employment rate declined only in the 20-29 age group in South Korea, reaching 58.8%, down 0.5% from a year ago in May.

The employment rate for the entire economically active population, or those aged 15-64, came to 67%, up 0.7% from the previous year, Statistics Korea said.

In the spotlight as the country confronts regional and domestic unrest, South Korea faces an uncertain economic future.  South Koreans are simultaneously dealing with a recent impeachment of their president, the election of a new president on a platform of aggressive reform, and a nuclear-equipped adversary to the north that grows ever more belligerent.


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