Fewer young South Koreans taking job exams in 2021: study


According to a report from Statistics Korea, the number of young South Koreans preparing for exams to land jobs has decreased for the second year in a row. As of May 2021, only 634,000 out of 4.16 million economically inactive people aged 15-29 were preparing for such tests, which is a drop of 71,000 from 2020.

The proportion of economically inactive people taking job exams has also decreased from 16.9% in 2022 to 15.2% this year. This marks the first time in four years that the number of young South Koreans preparing for job exams has decreased, and the second consecutive year of decline.

An agency official suggested that this could be due to more people opting for higher education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those taking exams for jobs this year, 29.3% (186,000 people) were preparing for state exams to become public servants, while the number of those preparing for jobs at private companies grew from 168,000 to 173,000.

In South Korea, many young people have long favored civil service posts due to greater job security in times of economic slowdown.

People line up to enter a job fair in Seoul, in this file photo taken July 2, 2023. (Yonhap)


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