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Lodging and restaurant jobs limit fall in youth employment

Dec. 19, 2022 - 15:35 By Lee Seung-ku
A man examines jobs posted on a bulletin board in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The number of young adults under 30 working in South Korea’s lodging and restaurant businesses rose by a combined 134,000 people on-year in November, but about 70 percent of those new jobs were part-time or daywork, according to data from Statistics Korea.

The data showed that out of the 3.91 million workers aged 15-29, 652,000, or 16.6 percent, worked in the lodging and restaurant industries in November. This was a 3.4 percentage-point increase from a year earlier.

The lodging and restaurant industries surpassed manufacturing and retail as the sector with the most young-adult employment. Experts attributed this to the improved conditions in the lodging and restaurant sectors since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, while the decrease in exports and an increase in economic uncertainties negatively affected the manufacturing and retail industries.

Compared to a year earlier, the lodging and restaurant industries saw an increase of 134,000 jobs in the age group, while manufacturing and retail industries saw declines of 17,000 and 48,000 jobs, respectively.

Meanwhile, the employment of young adults logged an overall decrease by 5,000 people. This is the first decline in 21 months.

Despite on-year declines among young adults of 10,000 to 40,000 jobs in other industrial categories, the increase in the lodging and restaurant sectors limited the decline in the employment rate for the under-30s.

However, the data showed that a majority of the new jobs in the lodging and restaurant industries were part-time, while over 10 percent were daywork.

Overall, the quality of employment for young workers lagged other age groups, as 63.5 percent employed under-30s were part-timers and dayworkers, the data showed.