Title : Comparative Analysis of Youth Unemployment in Korea and Japan: Implications for Korea
Author : SaangJoon Baak(Waseda University), Namju Kim(BOK), Keunho Jang(BOK)
This paper analyzes the determining factors in the unemployment rate among young people in their 20s by studying data from 30 OECD member countries between 2000 and 2017. Also, it identifies reasons why Korea has a higher youth unemployment rate than Japan, and assesses what implications Japan’s youth unemployment measures could have on Korea. The study highlights the variables that have meaningful impacts on youth unemployment. They include the unemployment rate among the working-age population, the percentage of each age bracket in the overall population, the GDP growth rate, the percentage of wage laborers in each age group, the percentage of elderly people, and the percentage of part-time workers. This paper also finds that a decline in the youth population, especially among people in their 20s, does not help to address the issue of youth unemployment. Secondly, this paper explains the additional factors behind Korea’s higher youth unemployment rates. One is Korea’s disadvantageous employment environment, compared to that in Japan, in terms of wage earning. Other factors include the existence of fewer decent corporate jobs than in Japan, and wide disparities in wages between large and small corporate jobs. Therefore, while making efforts to resolve long-term and structural problems, it is necessary to actively promote policy measures to solve short-term mismatch problems of youth employment by referring to Japanese policy examples.