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Jobless rate rising for people with doctorates

Nov. 22, 2017 - 10:31 By Yonhap

One out of five people holding doctoral degrees are jobless in South Korea, the highest rate since recordkeeping began in 2014, official data showed Wednesday.

Some 22.9 percent of people who earned doctorates locally this year are without jobs, according to the Korean Statistical Information Service. For previous years, the figures were 21.3 percent in 2014, 20.3 percent in 2015 and 21.6 percent last year.

Another 2.8 percent were not looking for employment at the time of the survey, which was held in February and August 2016. About 70 percent of the graduates of doctoral programs at over 200 universities, or 9,050 people, responded to the survey this year.


The jobless rate was higher for women at 25.9 percent, compared to 21.2 percent for men. 

The rate was higher among younger groups, standing at 35.4 percent for those under 30, 32.9 percent for people aged 35-39, 14.3 percent for the 40-44 age group, 11.6 percent for the 45-49 age group and 12.9 percent for those aged 50 or older.

One unexpected finding was that the unemployment rate was higher for people with degrees in natural science or engineering compared to those with doctorates in arts, sports or social sciences. The data showed that 29.7 percent of natural science degree holders were without jobs compared to 28.4 percent for humanities majors, 22.3 percent for arts and sports, 20.6 percent for education and 18.3 percent for social sciences.

People looking for jobs in Seoul and metropolitan areas had less luck, their unemployment rate measuring 24.1 percent, which compares to 21.5 percent for those in other parts of the country.

Among those who did find jobs, 66.2 percent were employed in permanent positions and 22.2 percent in temporary posts.

The survey said 13.2 percent planned to reside overseas, up from 12.2 percent last year. (Yonhap)