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S. Korea vows to shore up services sector amid sluggish job market outlook

Plans to inject W4.6tr to back export of services, create 50 or more new job categories


Deputy Prime Minister and Finance MInister Hong Nam-ki speaks in an economic policy meeting held Thursday at Seoul Government Complex. (Yonhap)
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance MInister Hong Nam-ki speaks in an economic policy meeting held Thursday at Seoul Government Complex. (Yonhap)


The South Korean government announced Thursday it will create at least 50 new job categories in the upcoming years, while providing necessary legal and fiscal support to tide over the worsening employment situation.

It also pledged to inject 4.6 trillion won ($3.89 billion) into export-oriented service industries and adjust the government’s fiscal support regulations which have been focused on the manufacturing sector.

“We hope to raise the country’s service sector export ranking to the global top 10 level by 2025 from the current 16th,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki in an economic policy meeting held at Seoul Government Complex.

“For this, we will provide 4.6 trillion won for export-oriented service businesses by 2023 and revise the current fiscal support regulations to meet the demands of the services sector.”

He cited six major services sector that have high potential in export outlook -- contents, medical and healthcare, edutech, digital services, fintech and engineering.

“We shall ensure that the corresponding companies, especially startups, may properly accumulate their business track record prior to overseas expansion,” Hong said, pledging to enhance intellectual property protection and statistics management for the service industry.

Along with efforts to back up the existing services sector, the government also vowed to expand the current job market scope by adding at least 50 new job categories that accommodate the needs of the fast-changing society.

“We will select and offer active support to 14 up-and-coming new jobs and introduce 37 or more promising jobs that are currently gaining popularity globally,” he said.

The potential list includes smart construction planners, future mobility engineers, child care managers, cyber urban analysts, highway controllers and others.

The fiscal chief’s remarks came a day after Statistics Korea unveiled the employment index for July, showing that more than a quarter of young people are currently facing difficulties in finding a job.

The nation’s extended unemployment rate for those aged between 15 and 29 came to 25.6 percent in July, up 1.8 percentage point from a year earlier marking the highest figure for any July since the office started compiling such data in January 2015.

The corresponding figure is deemed a more down-to-earth indicator of the youth job market reality as the official overall unemployment rate only includes the economically active population, excluding those who have given up job searches or are currently relying on part-time jobs while seeking for more permanent jobs.

“In times of economic crises, young people face delays in embarking on their career, which consequently leads to wage losses and reduced career opportunities in the long term,” Hong said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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