Figures made available on Tuesday revealed that the amount of South Korean adolescents preparing for exams with the intention of obtaining public jobs and professional certifications has decreased for the second consecutive year. Out of the 4.16 million young adults aged 15-29 who were not employed, 634,000 were studying for exams in May 2021, which is 71,000 less than in 2020. The proportion of those who are not employed but are taking such tests for employment decreased from 16.9% to 15.2%. It is believed that more individuals are opting for higher education due to their lack of preparation for the job market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those taking exams for jobs this year, 29.3% were preparing for government exams to become public servants, while the number of those preparing for jobs at private companies increased from 168,000 to 173,000. In South Korea, many youth have traditionally favored civil service posts, mainly due to greater job security during economic downturns. Of the 3.94 million people who got their first job after graduation, 65.9% left them to seek new ones or for other reasons this year. The most common cause for leaving was dissatisfaction with working conditions, such as working hours and wages. In addition, more than 6 out of every 10 young people hired earned less than 2 million won (US$1,586) per month on average at their first job.
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