SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) – Employment rate for students with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees fell to an all-time high last year as the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow labor markets, government statistics showed on Monday.
Their employment rate stood at 65.1% last year, the lowest since the Education Ministry began compiling such data in 2011, according to its statistics.
According to statistics, 553,521 people graduated from colleges and colleges across the country between August 2019 and February 2020.
Of these, 480,149 were subject to employment and 312,430, or 65.1%, were employed, down 2 percentage points from the 67.1% recorded in 2019.
By job type, 284,359 were employed at workplaces offering national health care benefits, 18,139 were self-employed, 5,317 opened their own business and 1,131 found employment abroad.
The proportion of company workers with occupational health insurance and the self-employed increased by 0.6 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point respectively. But the proportion of people employed abroad and the self-employed fell by 0.5 percentage point and 0.2 percentage point, respectively.
“Due to the economic uncertainties associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult for young people to find jobs abroad or start a business,” the ministry said.
According to statistics, the employment rate was higher among those who completed higher education at 80.2 percent than those with an undergraduate degree at 61 percent.
The employment rate fell across all academic fields, with liberal arts, natural sciences, humanities, arts and sports, and engineering being hit hardest with a drop of more than 2 percentage points .
Statistics also showed that the average monthly income of college and graduate school graduates working in companies providing health care services was around 2.63 million won (US $ 2,217) last year, up 33,000 won from 2.6 million won in the previous year.
The average monthly income of college and graduate school graduates also reached 2.44 million won and 4.49 million won, respectively.
Among employees, 35.2 percent were hired before graduation, while 22.7 percent found employment within three months of graduation, 16.4 percent within nine months , 14.9 percent within six months and 10.8 percent within 10 months or more.
The largest share of employees, 48.3 percent, worked in small and medium-sized enterprises and 17.4 percent in non-profit organizations.
An additional 10.1 percent were employed in central and local governments, 8.5 percent in conglomerates, 7.4 percent in middle-market enterprises and 4.9 percent in public institutions or enterprises.