The government will dole out allowances to about 80,000 young jobless people this year to help support their employment activities, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said Monday.
The monthly “youth employment promotion subsidy” of 500,000 won ($440) will be paid for up to six months to unemployed people aged 18 to 34 who have graduated from or dropped out of secondary schools, universities or graduate programs within two years, the ministry said.
Only those who belong to households earning less than 120 percent of the nation’s median income, or 5.54 million won a month in terms of a four-person household, will be eligible for the new subsidy, it said, adding that applications will be accepted from March 25.
Ministry officials said the new subsidy is expected to help ease the financial difficulties of young jobless people in their job-search activities.
Students who are enrolled or on a leave of absence are not eligible, while part-timers who work less than 20 hours a week are eligible as they as are classified as unemployed, they explained.
According to government data released last week, South Korea’s jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent in February, while the unemployment rate for young adults — those aged between 15 and 29 — stood at 9.5 percent.
The labor ministry said it has earmarked a budget of 158.2 billion won for the youth employment subsidy, estimating the number of recipients at about 80,000 this year.
The youth subsidy will be paid by so-called “clean card,” which cannot be used for gambling, purchases of luxury goods or other irrelevant purposes.
As soon as the recipient succeeds in landing a job, the subsidy payment will be suspended, the ministry said. (Yonhap)