On November 11, in front of the unemployment benefit training center on the basement floor of the South Korea Employment Welfare Plus Center in Yeongyongpo-gu, Seoul. On this day, about 40 people received unemployment benefits training. Kang Ki-hun, Reporter

“I’m still old enough to work, but I’ve been kicked out because of corona. There was pressure from the head office several times a day to reduce the number of people, so the manager couldn’t help it.”

[기업딥톡31] Corona 19 hit by the job market

Last 11 th afternoon. Kim Young-hye ,60, who met in front of the unemployment benefittraining center on the basement floor of the South Employment Welfare Plus Center in Yeongyongpo-gu, Seoul, said: Kim was recently fired from a large franchise restaurant in Seoul where he worked for a year or two. According to government statistics, 1.13 million people were unemployed as of last month. He said, “I don’t welcome a few months of unemployment benefits, but I still want to work and get paid.” This afternoon’s news broke that Kospi had surpassed 2400 in two years and two months. Kim laughed, saying, “That’s a real lysis world.” The shockwave of the job market, which began with Corona 19, is age-free.

About 40 people, including Mr. Kim, waited for the door of the training center to open for the training at 2 p.m. The age range ranged from the 30s in semi-suits to the 60s in construction-site vests.

As i left the center, I called the unemployment benefits helpline (1350). “There are 50 waiters waiting. There is a call fee while waiting.” After 10 minutes, the counselor was not connected. In front of exit 6 of Yeongyongpo Ward Station near the Southern Employment And Welfare Plus Center, a part-time student was handing out job training flyers. More than 50 pages of flyers were launched, and the government-funded employment education program was full. The part-time student said, “I’ve been playing Alba since the end of last year, and i’ve had an increase in recent years.”

The shockwave of the job market caused by the corona is raging. According to labor market trends released by the Ministry of Employment and Labor on 10 July, unemployment benefits paid to 1.1885 billion won in July were the largest ever. This is an increase of 429.6 billion won (56.6%) compared to the same period last year.

Job seekers sit at the Unemployment Benefits Briefing Hall of the Seoul Employment Welfare Plus Center in Central Seoul, Waiting for the start of the briefing. Yonhap News Agency

Airline and hotel industry staff sigh

The airline and hotel industry hit by the Corona direct hit, and the employment shock is spreading. Jeon Myung-jin, a 40-year-old employee of Eastar Airlines, confided, “Since February, i have not received a proper salary, and I am opening my hands to both parents.” Jeon said, “I’m just worried that my child’s kindergarten expenses won’t be available anytime soon.” Jeon sighed, “I can’t even get an apartment subscription that I’ve been preparing for for a long time,” and he sighed, “I don’t know how long the homeless period will last.”

In the hotel industry, the restructuring of the workforce has begun in earnest, leading to extreme confrontation between users and unions. The Millennium Hilton Hotel is representative. The hotel union recently held a rally calling for job security. In a phone call with The JoongAng Ilbo, The Chairman of the Millennium Hilton Hotel Union Chairman Choi Said, “We have heard the demands that the union can make, such as forced leave and unpaid leave, but we have unilaterally informed the restructuring schedule.” The hotel company’s earnings rebound edging up to the 50-day rainy season in Corona has lost its promise. The pressure on the restructuring is expected to increase as well. Even large companies such as Hotel Lotte have taken out their hopes of retiring.

July the number of unemployed people. Graphic: Shin Jae-min, Reporter shin.jaemin@joongang.co.kr

According to statistics, the lodging and restaurant industry saw the largest increase in unemployment. The July employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics on 12 July showed 1138,000 unemployed. It was the highest since July 1999 (1476,000) when it started to write relevant statistics. By industry, the number of people employed in the hospitality and restaurant industry decreased by 225,000 compared to July last year. 127,000 people in the metropolitan and retail industries, 89,000 in education services, and 53,000 in manufacturing.

Corona shockwave is now self-employed or mid-term

Corona’s 19-shot job market shockwave has also hit small and medium-sized businesses, past self-employment. Park Mo, 43, who met near the West Employment Welfare Plus Center in Mapo-gu, Seoul, on 12 December, said, “I was recently informed of my appointment as a member of an IT small and medium-sized company that produces websites, etc.,” and said, “I can’t help but think about watching my children.”

A mid-sized company executive in the chemical sector said, “Sales have decreased by more than 15% compared to last year,” adding, “We’re still holding on, but we’re not answering anything other than restructuring the workforce.” In fact, small and medium-sized manufacturing plants have been on a downward trend this year. According to the Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Venture Enterprises, the average utilization rate for small and medium-sized manufacturing, which reached 69.6% in February, remained at 60% for five consecutive months. It was the first time in 11 years since the April-August 2009 period that it remained at 60% for five consecutive months.

Total expenditures with new applicants for job seekers after the corona window. Graphic by Kim Young-ok, reporter yesok@joongang.co.kr

Worse in the second half

The problem is in the second half. In the second half of the year, the corona 19 job market shockwave is expected to continue for some time. The government’s employment maintenance subsidy will be suspended from next month. Job market uncertainty is not expected to disappear as major companies postpone hiring in the second half of the year.

According to a survey conducted by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in July of 301 domestic companies (101 large enterprises, 52 medium-sized enterprises, and 148 small and medium-sized enterprises), 31.2% of companies said they had delayed hiring schedules for this year, according to a survey on the perception of employment and wages due to the Corona crisis. 19.3% of respondents said they ‘give up on new hires’. “Many companies have postponed wage negotiations in the second half, such as corona, and cannot rule out a second shock, which will lead to job market uncertainty in the second half of the year,” said Cho Joon-mo, professor of economics at Sungkyunkwan University.
Kang Ki-hun, reporter emckk@joongang.co.kr



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