Friday, December 09, 2011

An Enviable Level Of Problem

In the English language Korean online newspaper Korea JongAng Daily, a writer called Kim Jong-so writes about rising discontent over high youth unemployment in South Korea. How high is it? 6.7%. While that is higher than the less than 3% unemployment rate for middle age and older workers in South Korea, it is lower than in all Western countries. By comparison, youth unemployment was 22% in the EU as a whole, with even the country with the lowest youth unemployment rate, Holland, having a youth unemployment rate of 8.2%. All Western countries, but Spain in particular, with its 48.9% youth unemployment rate wióuld just love to have the level of problem with youth unemployment that South Korea has.


Blogger Shane Leavy said...

Any thoughts on why South Korea seems to be doing well? (Could we just be missing some evidence - for example maybe there are more women who work at home and who are not seeking paid employment? That is, the employment level might not be particularly high despite the unemployment level appearing to be low. Or is SK really doing very well?)

12:43 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Well, most important is that South Korea is in an economic boom generated by exports to China, so they don't have any cyclical unemployment.

Contributing to a low structural unemployment rate is low taxes, an education system that is so good that even people who haven't been in school for long can take many jobs (that is also caused by the fact that employers in Korea seems to view formal number of years in school as less important than in other countries) and that South Korea is closed for asylum seekers (which tend to be unemployed to a high extent) and low skilled workers from abroad (who given imperfect wage flexibility displace native workers ).

7:54 PM  
Blogger Shane Leavy said...

Interesting, cheers Stefan. Good point about exports to China. I wonder if this has been part of Australia's continuing strength lately too.

9:27 PM  

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