On March 15, the government announced the initiative ‘2018, Measures for Hiring Young People’. According to the plan, the government will give 10 million won to people under the age of 34 working at smaller-sized businesses over the next three to four years. It will also grant 9 million won per year to smaller businesses that hire new employees. The government hopes this initiative will reduce the gap between major companies and small businesses and induce younger people to seek employment at businesses other than the major conglomerates. The government also announced its plan to create 70,000 new jobs for young people in non-capital regions by 2021. The measures are expected to not only create jobs for younger people, but also revitalize village communities by introducing smaller business operators young qualified, yet inexperienced workers. Byun Sungwan, Economic Advisor at the Ministry of Public Administration and Security said, “We expect each individual to earn about 2 million won at a minimum per month, exclusive of transportation and food expenses.” The government is also hoping, once there, younger workers will take root in those regions. However, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) criticizes the government claiming, “The measure disregards today’s younger generation’s demands and voices, so it is insufficient.” The KCTU also says the policy doesn’t offer any practical solutions, but rather, only increases government spending.
Although the government is allotting a large amount of funds to subsidize individuals and businesses as meaning of resolving unemployment, not all companies qualify for the support. Since 2015, there have been several laws enacted prohibiting receipt of support funds. However, it is difficult to expect effectiveness because proper solutions to manage and oversee the measure are not in place. Also, there has been an increase in the number of companies violating the Labor Standard Act and Minimum Wage System and receiving illegal support supplements. Therefore, it is hard to expect the effectiveness of the new initiative without a third-party supervisory system. There is a need to establish a labor supervisory system that supervises and investigates unfair labor practices, labor safety issues, and performs regular monitoring. While increasing the number of jobs is wonderful, the quality of that employment should be considered first.
Jin Dallae, “2018, 7 Million New Positions to Be Established”, Money Today, March 15, 2018
Park Chulgeun, “The New Policy for Youth Employment Disregards the Younger Generation’s Voices”, Edaily, March 15, 2018