Koreans working in Busan, Korea | Photo Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

By Asia News

July 16 2020

The crisis triggered by the pandemic devastated the labor market, which in June lost 352 thousand jobs. This is the fourth consecutive month of decline in the sector, the worst streak since October 2009. The government promises liquidity injections, but middle-aged workers are likely to be out of work. The Church’s commitment: “We will help them requalify”.


SEOUL – The unemployment rate in South Korea is growing for the fourth consecutive month. In June, as reported by Yonhap, the labor market lost 352 thousand units: it is the first time since October 2009 that a negative streak of this duration has been recorded.

The collapse, according to the National Statistics Office, is attributable to the global crisis caused by the pandemic. The explosion of Covid-19 has inhibited industrial activity and consumer spending: the quarantine imposed by the authorities has emptied the streets and therefore retail.

The government has reacted by guaranteeing the population massive injections of liquidity for businesses and banks, but the manufacturing and heavy industry sectors still seem destined to slide even further during the summer. The retail food and tourism services sector is also experiencing difficulties: South Korea was the second country in the world, after China, to register the first cases of coronavirus.

Some analysts believe that the worst is yet to come, and that real data on the economy will hit only in the second half of 2020. With regards the labor market, the most at risk group is that of workers between 40 and 55 years of age: too young to retire but considered too old to be hired from scratch after the layoffs of these months.

The Catholic Church, says a source to AsiaNews, “is aware of this problem and is looking for practical solutions. No one must be left behind because of this crisis, but it is clear that there are real problems for employers as well. However, forgetting about these workers would mean depriving tens of thousands of families of income and dignity. “

For this reason, adds the source, “we are studying how we can intervene. Among the proposed solutions, one of the most convincing provides for the creation of refresher courses that can somehow give new qualifications to workers at risk. We think it is possible to provide new tools to these family fathers and mother, so that they can recycle themselves and return to work perhaps with new perspectives”. – Asia News