8 in 10 S. Korean young people feel their generation is not given fair work opportunities

Posted on : 2022-01-03 16:48 KST Modified on : 2022-01-03 16:48 KST
A survey of 1,000 office workers in their 20s and 30s revealed high levels of pessimism
(provided by Getty Images Bank)
(provided by Getty Images Bank)

“I work for a family-run company. The boss has closed-circuit cameras in place to keep tabs on all the employees. They’ll suddenly call us into their office while we’re working and have us clean up the boss’s desk, or they’ll threaten us by saying things like, ‘I don’t like the way you talk. You’re going to end up out of a job.’ They’ll yell at us and humiliate us in front of others. [The boss’s] son and daughter also work with us, but if they mess up, it all gets covered for them, and they can come and go as they like while the rest of us can’t say a word about it.” — An office worker in their 20s

Findings released Sunday from a youth policy survey conducted by the anti-workplace power abuse civic group Gabjil 119 showed 75.1% of respondents echoing this employee in agreeing that “previous generations aren’t offering young people fair opportunities.”

For the survey, Gabjil 119 and the Public Workers Solidarity Foundation had the public opinion organization Embrain Public interview 1,000 company employees between Dec. 3 and 10.

The results showed 80.8% of irregular workers, 80.5% of respondents in their 20s, and 85.2% of respondents in their 30s agreeing that there was an inequality of opportunity between younger people and past generations.

The rates were around 10 percentage points higher than the already high rates of agreement among regular workers (71.3%), respondents in their 40s (66.3%) and respondents in their 50s (72.2%).

When asked about the current administration’s policies for younger people, 73.7% of respondents said they had “not been properly implemented.” More than half of respondents — 61.2% — were pessimistic about the prospects for such policies under the next administration.

When asked to predict what the youth employment situation would look like in the future, 53.5% of respondents said it would be “bad to extremely bad.” Only 9.8% of all respondents expressed optimism about the prospects for improvement.

By Park Ji-yeong, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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