The government has only managed to create 40 percent of its promised target of 1.3 million jobs by shortening the working week and job sharing arrangements.

Statistics Korea said 27.65 million were employed in July, up 570,000 from July 2017, just after President Moon Jae-in’s inauguration.

A closer look at the age groups show that among the over-60s, 1.37 million more people were working, but mostly in artificially created part-time sinecures, while the number of employed people fell by some 800,000 in the other age groups.

Among people in their 30s and 40s, the most productive age, 405,000 and 479,000 lost their job, but there was a slight increase of 38,000 among people in their 20s and 134,000 among those in their 50s.

Population aging is a factor in the increased number of the elderly people in employment, but government job creation schemes played a major role.

There was an increase of 2.37 million in the registered population of those who are 60 or older over the four years, and 57 percent of the increased number had a job.

After the short-term government contracts came to an end in January this year, nearly 1 million jobs disappeared. Moon then ordered the creation of 900,000 jobs by March and 700,000 were for the elderly. As a result the number of employed people over 60 soared by 1.13 million in just half a year.

But even for the elderly, many of these artificially created jobs do little good. Kim Tae-gi at Dankook University said, “These days, the older population want positions where they can continue to use their skills and experiences, not temporary part-time jobs that require little skill. The government needs a fundamental shift in their employment policy.”

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