Korea’s new president economic agenda focuses on job increases and transition to automation age

2017.05.10 17:27:50 | 2017.05.10 17:30:29

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The keystone of South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in’s economic agenda is the creation of 810,000 jobs in the public sector, aimed at a trickle-down effect to the private sector to tackle the youth unemployment rate hovering at historic high of 10 percent.

Among the 810,000 jobs, the new administration will inject state budget to enhance recruitment of 170,000 public servants. The plan will be implemented in the second half of this year by creating extra budget committed to increase public jobs. This year the government will additionally recruit a total of 12,000 public employees within this year, including 1,500 firefighters, 1,500 policemen, 1,500 social welfare workers.

In addition, the new administration will establish a social service corporation to create or convert 640,000 workers employed by the private sector for childcare, welfare, medical and cleaning services.

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The Democratic Party expects a budget of 17 trillion won ($15 billion) will be needed over the next five years for additional recruitment of front-line public servants and an additional 4 trillion won in the form of support for social insurance.

Moon also plans to create 500,000 jobs in the private sector through shortening working hours and revitalizing the annual leave at companies. About 200,000 more jobs could be created if the current working hour system is lowered from up to 68 hours a week to 52 hours, the administration said.

Moon is also likely to launch various policy measures for transition to the fourth industrial revolution. He will set up a presidential committee devoted to revamp the regulatory system and promote new industries for the age of data-based automation and digitalization.

By Cho Si-young and Ko Jae-man

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